Don’t let student journalism die; help us carry the Torch

Out of a staff of 10, the Torch has three journalism students on staff and about three journalism student contributors.
It was a struggle to fill the majority of the paper’s positions, particularly in the second semester. There is always great turnover from semester to semester due to Torch staff graduating, taking jobs or internships, studying abroad, transferring schools, etc.
But when these positions become available at the student newspaper, you would think students, particularly journalism majors, would jump at the chance to fill them. Why wouldn’t these students break down our door to be a part of a real-world experience that not only pays, but provides necessary clips students can use to prove themselves as passionate journalists ready to enter the workforce after college?
Unfortunately, we’re lucky if we get two emails about an open position.
There’s something to be said about personal responsibility and accountability for journalism students. If you want something, you need to act to get it. Nothing worth having comes easy.
For any student, practising the skills their expensive educations have given them and making connections is vital. For journalism students, the Torch is one way they can gain experience.
So why is there so little excitement about the Torch?
Excuses can only get you so far. Wouldn’t you rather risk giving up the two hours on Netflix to write a 300-word story that could possibly help boost your career, than to not do anything at all and hope for the best after graduation?
Class work is class work. If you’re serious about your journalism career, you will need published writing clips to procure key internships and future jobs, and the Torch is a great place to get them.
Getting involved outside of the classroom shows initiative. It shows that you care about yourself and your work enough that you are willing to put in the extra hours. To rely on school work is not fully taking advantage of the real life experience our school has to offer. Make those thousands of dollars count for something.
No one is going to do the work for you, and no one can really get you to do it. This is our push, however, to get students to do something not just for the sake of the student newspaper, which should be showcasing, amplifying and historically documenting their voices, but for themselves.
The attitude at Roosevelt University has always seemed to be that the Torch needs to do more, cover more, write more investigative stories, produce a better layout, have more engaging social media and web content, etc.
Torch staff members wouldn’t disagree.
Every week, every paper brings a new struggle for us to fight, a new goal for us to accomplish. But with a staff of merely 10, give or take some contributors, it’s always a game of weighing priorities.
How can we make this better? How can we make content cease to be so dry? How can we get more people to stop for a second and pick the paper up instead of just walk right past it, as so many do?
Most of the time, it feels like we are merely the blind leading the blind.
But, if you are one of the students who actually does read the paper and is taking the time to read this editorial, we’re calling you to action.
If you want to see more pride at this university, we need to incorporate school spirit in more than just sporting events. Help the Torch come alive, and truly be the voice of the student body here at Roosevelt. Come to our meetings and offer your ideas, your passions, your work.
You will receive monetary compensation, but the true value of contributing to the student paper should be to give a real voice to the student body at this institution, to gain experience in the field of journalism, to be a part of the fight to present and preserve the truth, to be a watchdog.
If you want to see the paper fulfill its mission, give the Torch the help it needs. The greatest resource student journalism can have is manpower — its staff.

Categories: Feature, News, Opinion, Recent Posts

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