The East Tennessean is not the most widely read and adored newspaper on the face of the Earth. There, I said it.
A significant percentage of students don’t know that we exist, and it’s likely that — among the people who do regularly read the publication — many of you will stop reading my editorial after this paragraph.
I’m not an expert salesman, and I don’t have experience as a public relations officer, but I want the newspaper to become a more readily referenced source of information.
There’s only so much interest that people can derive from a hardcopy newspaper.
This year, there has been a palpable improvement in the quality of the design work (thanks in large part to the expertise of our managing editor, Dylan Chesser), and I want this to be something that continues in the future.
We also have a wonderful new website (also thanks to our managing editor, Dylan Chesser). However, design will only get us so far.
During my tenure as executive editor I want to see a diversification in the kinds of articles that appear in the paper and an expansion in the number of multimedia offerings we provide on our website and publicize via our Facebook page.
What kinds of multimedia offerings? Well . . . first of all, I want to start publishing regular podcasts. These will include analyses of current events on campus, discussions about movies or music, and possibly talk shows that highlight prominent movers and shakers at ETSU.
I also want to increase the number of videos we produce and the number of articles we publish online.
Up to now, we’ve also only published articles to our website twice a week.
This isn’t very frequent, and ideally, we should be printing articles at least four to five days out of the week — even if they’re just 100 words long. I also want to see the East Tennessean become a prominent opinion leader on campus.
“Hold it, David,” says an engaged student. “You want to inject opinion into the news? That’s not very journalistic of you.”
“Meh,” says the average student, “I just don’t care.”
Well, you should care.
The decisions made by the ETSU administration directly impact your life at ETSU.
How many of you are upset about the resurrection of the football program?
If YikYak is an accurate metric (it isn’t), a lot of you are upset.
What about the introduction of mandatory meal plans? Again, the concept hasn’t received much popular support, but that could change next year.
It’s impossible to gauge with our current information the effectiveness of either institution, but being an opinion leader often means providing the information necessary to make informed decisions about important issues.
We’re not going to tell you what to believe, but we are going to provide an as-objective-as-possible analysis of events on campus.
Based on my observations, being the executive editor of the East Tennessean is often a battle between brazen, idealism and pragmatism.
It is very likely that many of the plans I’m laying out here will not happen. In fact, I feel confidant in predicting that only about 50 percent of them will become reality — if that. However, I’m committed to continuing the legacy that previous editors have established.