Last week, the Wire dipped its toes in the waters of campus programming for the first time in (recent) memory. I was delighted to see nearly 50 people in Ellison Lecture last Wednesday, at which we hosted veteran journalists Bill Kole and Ted Nesi for a panel on contemporary dilemmas in the news media.
Come June, I will no longer have any say in the direction of this paper, but I sincerely hope that the Wire will continue to get involved in campus programming efforts. Despite the fact that our issues lie littered about campus, the organization itself remains admittedly removed from campus involvement.
To a certain extent this is a good thing; as a news outlet, the Wire should be — and appear to be — as unbiased as possible. But in our partnership last week with the nonpartisan Roosevelt Institute, I think we put on an event that was both relevant to our organization’s purpose and also had implications for the way that we as students and soon-to-be young professionals consume news. Both panelists had engaging insight and stories about their profession and how the stories we see on the front page are perceived behind the scenes and provided some critical perspective on hot-button issues.
It is my hope that such events can also boost recruitment for the Wire. Journalistic outlets have a unique perspective on public affairs and thus can contribute to programming that is both media-focused as well as current events-focused. We have struggled to retain writers this year, and I have gathered that part of the reason is a lack of information about how the Wire works and what exactly we do behind the scenes.
Thus, hand in hand with revamped programming efforts, I would like to see improved public relations for the “club” side of the Wire (as opposed to the editorial side): specifically, advertising, writer training and workshops, and informational sessions on our process and how to get involved. There are plenty of writers on this campus — and we’d love to have them on board.
I think that by opening ourselves to the campus community and by increasing the Wire’s visibility, we can establish ourselves as more than just a club on “paper” — but a living and breathing part of the campus culture.