OPINION: College newspapers are critical asset to universities

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When I first came to K-State four years ago, I was very unaware of what was going on around me. I was focused so much on getting good grades and having fun that I forgot to take advantage of the opportunities and extracurricular activities around me.

It wasn’t until I started reading and eventually writing for a college newspaper that I got a better sense of what it’s like to be a student and utilize the tools that the university gave me. In other words, the presence of a college newspaper played a big role in my educational experience and also helped prepare me for the real world.

One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that you don’t have to be a journalism major to write for college newspapers. I know many people who weren’t journalism majors, but they were able to contribute to the paper in many different ways.

Writing for a college newspaper gives you a well-rounded set of writing and research skills, regardless of your chosen major, according to Sonia Rao’s USA Today College article, “6 Reasons to join your campus newspaper.”

Having good writing skills can translate to any professional occupation. Whether it’s writing a resume or publishing research findings, good writing skills can only help market your abilities.

College newspapers are also important because they are a medium that is completely dedicated to accurately depicting student life and are more likely to help make changes within the university, according to Alex Yahand’s Johns Hopkins News-Letter article, “The necessity of student journalism.”

The college newspaper is also a spot where everybody’s voice can be heard. Oftentimes, students feel like their voices are drowned out by the masses, so to encourage change, they use the college newspaper because it has one specific target audience: college students.

Arguably the most important reason for college newspapers is to make sure students are aware of the resources and events that are going on around them, and the information is usually up-to-date because they have the resources to publish multiple times a week.

While college newspapers have tried to adapt to the ever-changing presence of digital media over the last 15 years, not all papers run new articles every day.

Only 21 percent of college newspapers add new content to their website five days a week, according to Dan Reimold in the College Media Matters article “Student media map reveals roughly 20 percent of college newspapers update daily online.”

I find this statistic really troubling because those students are missing out on information every day. After seeing how many things happen on K-State’s campus every day, it seems that without a school newspaper, students and faculty would be limited in what they know and what they can do.

There is no doubt in my mind that college newspapers will continue to be a valuable commodity in institutions of higher learning. In my opinion, newspapers are the glue that holds communities together, especially when it comes to college newspapers.

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