Letter from the editor: The importance of student media

Hannah Street | Daily Evergreen Editor-in-Chief

This WSU election season has shown me there is a hunger on campus for student media.

In the past week, The Daily Evergreen has created a special edition, published a Voters Guide, defended its right to publish without prior review, and it still put out a daily paper, trained reporters and held editor meetings to critique its own work.

I turned to my news editor Saturday and told him I’d realized I’d been in the newsroom for 30 of the past 72 hours. His response was, “So have I.” Dedication to journalism is not only our job but also our passion, and we know the news cycle never rests because, for our audience, it cannot rest.

Students need breaking news when it happens and in-depth, accurate and unbiased reporting about campus and community events. In a time when information is ridiculed, where facts are filtered like Instagram selfies, news and media matters more than ever.

Student Media members are here because we believe this so much that our diligence feels as natural as the air we breathe.

A $4 fee is obviously worth the expense because we see how it benefits students every day from a news perspective, and, just as importantly, from a personal one.

The students who work for the Office of Student Media are like all Cougs who need to find a place to grow and a passion to follow. For me, walking into the newsroom was finding home.

Before I was an editor, between work, class, and homework, I’d fall asleep each night wondering where the day had gone, taking with it my chance to make a marked difference. Superficial, trivial moments ruled my time and energy. I lacked the direction and conviction an excellent college education required. I needed to embrace my learning with the passion, intensity and focus it deserved.

Like becoming a resident adviser, joining the Greek community or participating in ASWSU, working for student media becomes as much a part of your identity as it does a part of your day. College is about taking chances, making the most of every opportunity, and practicing how to better the world around us after we graduate.

Participating in any of these exciting experiences provides opportunities for hundreds of WSU students, and we need to keep them available.

These kinds of opportunities are why we came to a regional research university: to be a part of its variety of programs that build excellence, attracting students regardless of interests. WSU is constantly growing and expanding, and so is Student Media. This is not a time to demand cutbacks to a nationally recognized program.

Participating in professional training platforms like Student Media is essential to Cougs graduating more prepared, more serious and more knowledgeable of what it takes to be successful Coug alumni.

The happiest moments of my life, my greatest successes, my longest days and most harrowing losses have taken place in The Daily Evergreen newsroom. The most meaningful relationships have blossomed there. The best advice I’ve ever received has come from my advisers in the department.

Student Media fights the good fight. This arena takes guts, guile, confidence and a conscious decision to transcend your personal holdups and push forward for the greater good.

I want students to make an investment in its student media. Yes, the $4 fee passing would be wonderful. But also, whether or not the fee passes, I hope you take more interest than ever before in what we can do for you.

Student Media is here for you, not to give you the opinions you already hold or the news you can find elsewhere, but for all of us to practice what it means to be active in our world. Student Media informs, Cougs comment, Cougs comment back and so goes the process of education and critical thinking.

Do not let your collective knowledge be limited to biased social media sources or press releases with prerogatives.

WSU has never been known for limiting itself, for not wanting to take on the challenge, for not wanting to learn. Neither has Student Media.