A small sign hovers over a doorway on the second floor of the unassuming Graphic Arts building. Here, our newsroom is tucked away — you might even miss it if you didn’t know what to look for. From the outside, you’d never guess that the dull off-white walls of Building 26 contain multiple award-winning, student-run media organizations. Up the steep staircase is a fully operational advertising, marketing and design business, as well as a public relations company. The editorial operation spills out of the original newsroom and into a TV studio on the third floor, right next to the campus radio station, KCPR.
Walking into our newsroom on a typical afternoon, you might not realize that Mustang News boasts a staff of more than 50 students who specialize in video, multimedia, writing, web development, design, photography, social media and more.
You also might not realize that this year, we’re celebrating an incredible anniversary: one century of student news. For 100 years, Mustang News — under all of its previous monikers — has been in print. Generations of student journalists have dedicated their college careers to late-night deadlines, immediate breaking news coverage and a passion for informing their community. Our community.
If you told the Polygram reporters of 1916 what journalism is like today, they probably wouldn’t believe you. The Internet, interactive graphics, instant video — these were unthinkable concepts when we began production all those years ago. The field of journalism has adapted to the digital revolution, and we at Mustang News have had changes of our own.
Often, we become overwhelmed by these changes. But even though legacy media organizations are still searching for answers, one thing is clear: Our only mission is the same as it always has been — to serve our readers.
I have many goals for this year — and let me tell you, the 2015-16 staff is a fiery, fiercely talented bunch — but all of these aspirations pale in comparison to our ultimate duty. We exist solely to report the news and inform our audience; in this case, our peers. Every adjustment that journalists have made in the past century, whether minuscule or massive, has been done with the goal of serving our readers. More immediate news. Transporting viewers to the scene through video. Demonstrating data through graphics, rather than words.
We don’t know what journalism will look like 100 years from now — to be honest, I’m not even sure what it’ll be in five years. What we do know is that Mustang News will continue creating journalists of the future, graduates who are prepared for jobs that don’t yet exist. We will continue pushing forward into the deep, not fearing change but embracing it. But most importantly, we will continue to fight to inform our community.
Know that we will spend every day in a quiet room hidden in the hallway of Building 26, seeking out innovation. Looking for ways to send accurate news straight to your fingertips. To set the curve. To hold others accountable. To let you know what’s happening, so you can make educated decisions.
If you have questions, suggestions or complaints, we want to hear them. Tweet me. Shoot me an email. Walk into the Graphic Arts building and look for the sign above our door — because your voice matters.