One year ago, when I was beginning my time as editor-in-chief of The Knox Student, I wrote here about making TKS a “community hub”—a place where the Knox community can go on a daily basis to get vital information. I talked about transforming the website into a daily, up-to-date platform with an active group of bloggers and a strong presence on major social media networks.
I believe we made great strides in that direction, and I’m sure Julian and his new staff will continue on a similar trajectory. But there’s one thing I longed for over the past year: more interaction with readers.
Journalism is no longer a one-way street on which information is passed from one group of people to another. This conception completely ignores the realities of the digital age. Tools like social media and web analytics have provided indirect opportunities for feedback, and these are vital for news organizations to help pinpoint the stories that readers actually want to read.
But especially for small communities, there is no substitute for more direct interaction between journalists and readers. TKS editors will always be receptive to the concerns of the student body at large. And while it’s the paper’s responsibility to keep a finger on the pulse of campus, the occasional email or chat in the hallway between classes—especially about issues that might only affect a small subset of students— will help give TKS more direction in its reporting. A news tip from a student about a gap in student services or a major concern with college policies or procedures would be far more valuable than what we could glean from committee meetings or official communications from the college.
Perhaps more succinctly: Think of TKS as a resource for students. Use it as a platform or a sounding board for major student concerns like those voiced at the recent walkout. Don’t be afraid to approach TKS editors with your concerns about the college. They’ll take these issues seriously, and they’ll do their best to apply pressure in their reporting to help enact change.
So next time you think, “the Knox community needs to know this,” drop an email to Julian at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know I will.
It’s been a pleasure serving you, our loyal readers. I hope I helped make picking up a copy of the newspaper worth your while this year.