The Importance of Student Journalism

In this day and age where practically anyone can pull up whatever news and information they want with a few clicks or taps, it can be easy for some to walk right past newspaper stands. In the moment, news sites and accounts with practically any subject and instantaneous updates could feel like enough. For the record, there is nothing wrong with getting information like this, but the matter is that material is written for a broad audience that extends beyond CNU. But, there is a certain element that can’t be found in nationwide or even local media, a prominent feature that student media has: a personal aspect. The things that affect students are what shapes our campus media. Whether you are checking The Captain’s Log, CNU TV, HerCampus, or the Currents literary magazine, it is made specifically by CNU students, for the entire CNU community.

Where the Regatta’s expansion or the most current TheaterCNU production more than likely wouldn’t break into any national mediums, student media treats it with significance similar to a politician’s quote or the NFL draft.  Not that politics or sports don’t matter to the campus, there is plenty of room for both of those.

With regards to The Captain’s Log, its purpose is to be a reliable source for news, on and off-campus happenings, sports, a showcase of opinions, and more. However, it wouldn’t exist if students didn’t contribute; while things that are relevant to student’s daily lives shape the paper, students are the heart of the newspaper. Whether you want to report about current events, keep readers on track with sports coverage, or give an input on the new album from your favorite band that nobody else has ever heard of, every contribution matters. Students aren’t even the only audience interested in student-run media. Faculty, staff and administrators all have easy access to the newsstands scattered across campus. There’s no better reference to find out what students are concerned with, what they feel, and what they have to say. After all, the powers that be can’t see that shared Facebook article or blog post that you wrote, let alone that of every student on campus.

While most of this focus has been on the smaller scale of journalism, there is no denying the impact it has on a large scale. Is it likely that anyone with no relation to CNU will ever read The Captain’s Log or Currents?  Probably not. However, CNU’s partaking in the free press doesn’t derive its importance from the number of readers. Just being an example of one of the key components of democracy makes it valuable. Freedom of speech is an inalienable right in our nation, a right with limitless opportunities to exercise at any level, as often as possible. It is a right taken seriously on campus, just look at the quote from President Trible printed in each issue of The Captain’s Log for reference. Your words have importance, and they help to make CNU a better place for everyone. Go, write down what you have to say, speak up, and make the paper yours. It belongs to every Captain.