By Matthew Kaufman and Victoria Gladstone
With each passing year, more and more local media outlets are shuttering their doors, leaving communities without a trustworthy source of news. There is no one to hold local governments accountable and no one to explain to citizens the importance of local issues.
We believe that student media can fill that void and begin a new wave of journalism.
The collapse of local media can be an opportunity for campus media to expand its reach. College newspapers can expand coverage of local government and events. And since WTSR’s radio broadcasts are accessible to the greater Mercer County area, this presents a golden opportunity to reach an audience outside of the College’s small campus.
Last month, The Signal reported that Trenton Public Schools were sheltering in place after an emailed threat to the district. Our story was online and posted on social media long before any other media outlet mentioned the situation.
On the horizon is a new beginning for student media at the College. This week, members of The Signal, WTSR, Lions Television, Lion’s Eye, Ink and Deviate Magazine met to discuss means of collaborating, hopefully strengthening all of our content and reach on campus.
While we are still discussing the specifics of what collaboration between our groups may look like, we can share that the results of this work will appear in student media very soon. From WTSR album reviews and playlists appearing in print to Signal writers appearing on LTV, there are so many avenues that we want to go down.
Students need to know where their tuition is going, or if their academic program will survive the next round of budget cuts.
This collaboration is crucial in a moment of great financial uncertainty and leadership changes at the College. With so much unsettled business, we hope the campus community can turn to their student news organizations to give them the answers they so desperately need.