I’m back in. I’m back blogging and my apologies for breaking one of the rules of blogging — post often. That is what I tell my students. (Not that I haven’t been posting. I have been busy editing and running two other blogs that feature my student’s work. Check out the The Dirt on Jersey City and The Peacock Press.)
But I’m back blogging as Professor D’s J-School, because I now have something to blog about. I’m now the advisor to the school newspaper, “The Pauw Wow”.
For the first time in many years, the Pauw Wow is back in the hands of the Communication Department, specifically my Journalism Department. It’s an interesting time to take over a school newspaper. Media is undergoing major changes and upheaval, especially newspapers. Newspapers continue to shrink (and cut staff and close down) according to the PEW Research Center, but, really, are we surprised? I feel like I am the only one that still subscribes to an old-fashioned newspaper. The St. Peter’s bookstore stopped carrying newspapers since last year. Meanwhile, the Pauw Wow, when it was published, sat in newspaper bins scattered around campus, as students walked by reading the news on their smartphones. (Okay, maybe they were not reading the news, a journalism professor can only hope.)
So why am I doing this? If there is anytime to take over the reins of a college newspaper, this would be the time. It’s a time of transition and that means an opportunity to try bold, new ideas. Journalism is not dead, people are reading more news than ever. What is changing, is how people are getting their news, especially the students I teach. While it may not be bold and new, one of our first steps was to name an Online Editor. The students have already done that and are excited about moving toward and expanding the digital platform, and are even more happy that their advisor is enthusiastic about it.
I also told the editorial staff it’s time the Pauw Wow (first published in 1933) return to its roots of being a campus newspaper, covering stories, events and issues that are important to the campus community. One criticism of the newspaper was that it had too many editorials and stories that were meaningless to the community it was serving. A recent chat with a sports writer reflected that. It seems that before I came on board, students were allowed to write about anything they wanted. He said he wanted to write about the NFL. Meanwhile, we have only one student covering SPU sports. I nipped that idea immediately. I told him you have a thousand writers and bloggers covering the NFL, but no one (maybe sometimes the New Jersey Journal) covering the college sports. I told him if he wanted to write about the NFL, he could start a blog.
So wish me luck on my new adventure. We’re bringing the Pauw Wow back home.
Look out for our first edition coming out the week of September 17th!