Archive for the ‘Journalism Topics’ Category

A picture of the Marquette Tribune being printed in Johnston Hall in 1933- (Photo courtesy of @ErinHeff)

A picture of the Marquette Tribune being printed in Johnston Hall in 1933- (Photo courtesy of @ErinHeff)

About two years ago now, I took my first step into the newsroom of the UWM Post with absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do. I was taking lower-level journalism classes at the time so I didn’t really have that grasp on how to write or anything of the sort. One of the editors at the time walked up to me and asked, “what did I want to write?”

I had no clue at the time but I felt like I was being put on the spot. When all else failed, I resorted to the age-old use of instinct. That led me to the sports desk. I wrote a few columns to the best of my ability and quickly became the assistant sports editor. I mean, it was quick which meant that I had a lot of learning to do to get up to speed with the other editors.

As the assistant editor, I had my own desk in the newsroom. This meant that from that point on, that I was going to be spending my time with some of the elite journalism students at UW-Milwaukee. Working with these smart people really aided in bringing me up to speed on the ins and outs of what goes into making a newspaper work. Oh, those long Sunday nights.

Over time, the stories would accumulate. I built a professional network and continued to work my way upward. I even became the head section editor eventually. Most importantly, I developed as a journalist because I spent most of my time around people who were just as passionate about what I did. They cared about journalism. From basic newsroom conversations about interviewing, classes we’ve all taken, story ideas to the arguments, the UWM Post helped mold a lot of us who worked there into who we are today.

As you all may know, the UWM Post isn’t printing weekly papers anymore… or papers at all currently. As of today, there isn’t a single newspaper on the UWM campus, which is very depressing. UWM is a very different university than Marquette. It is significantly smaller and not having a paper on campus is surely hurting our university. There is so much politicking that goes on here and there is essentially no way for students or the community to have a say in how their lives are affected. They don’t even know what is going on. Supplying the community with knowledge of these things is the “greater good” and to not be able to do that in print is very disappointing to say the least. I would hate for it to happen at Marquette as well.

By cutting down on the Tribune, I believe that the university is robbing its journalism students of some key opportunities to gain leverage in the workplace post-graduation. I’m not too familiar with the university but eight pages doesn’t seem adequate enough to serve such a large university. I’m sure that there are great student-journalists at the Trib, producing great stories that they have to cut down on because of this. It is a sad story.

I am nearing my graduation and I have been blessed to say that I served as the sports editor of my university’s newspaper. I am writing this in hopes that students at both UWM and Marquette can share similar experiences as well.

In a nutshell. Here are five reasons why the Tribune should NOT be cut:

REASON ONE. Working for a student newspaper gives these students an edge in the hunt for employment over regular journalism students.

REASON TWO. You can’t get too many quality stories in eight pages. I would expect the quality of the paper to suffer.

REASON THREE.  There is a strong sense of community among student journalists like no other. UWM students know Marquette students. Marquette students knows UWM students. If we look around, we learn that we are going to be spending a lot of time together out in the field as colleagues.  Especially in sports journalism, its happening already. These are the people that are going to be at your news outlets in a few years. They need a place to convene and bounce ideas off of one another like a newsroom. I know this from my own time in a student newsroom.

REASON FOUR.  If the paper is cut, then the news is cut. Coverage of important issues are being sacrificed for space. At a large university like Marquette, eight physical pages may not be adequate enough to cover all of what needs to be covered, unfortunately.

REASON FIVE. This move basically minimizes an an outlet for student journalists to hone their crafts. Marquette should be aware that if they aren’t able to offer many opportunities for journalism students, many of these students will look away. Then Madison will basically have the monopoly on experienced journalism graduates at the major Wisconsin universities. Well not exactly, but still. I’m sure Marquette or Milwaukee doesn’t want to see that happen.

The UWM Post has opened doors for a lot of students. Some former UWM Post employees that I know personally have went on to work in everything from NBA franchises, TV & Radio stations to writing their own books and even hosting their own sports radio program. The UWM Post has produced some great journalists local and national journalists and I’m sure the Trib has too. That’s why this paper should not be cut.

My advice for the Tribune is to begin to push online like you’ve never done before. These cuts aren’t just out of spite. This is a sign of the times for print journalism.  I’ve been through it personally as the sports guy from the Eastside. Best of luck to you all and #LongLiveTheTrib!