Sunday, October 24, 2021

This year you’re the priority: Our commitment to sharing the stories that make up MSU

September 1, 2021
<p>Editor-in-chief Karly Graham and managing editor Jayna Bardahl in front of The State News. Shot on Aug. 30, 2021. </p>

Editor-in-chief Karly Graham and managing editor Jayna Bardahl in front of The State News. Shot on Aug. 30, 2021.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

This year you’re the priority: Our commitment to sharing the stories that make up MSU

The past year has been full of a lot of the same buzzwords. We wrote them. You read them:

COVID-19. Pandemic. Health. Quarantine. Isolation. Zoom. Vaccines.

We’ve spent so much time focused on the darkness that comes with a pandemic. Let’s be honest: stories about viruses are kinda downers. 

Yes, The State News will continue to keep you informed about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — and the many variants that come with it — but we’re ready to bring some new stories to light:

Like, what dorms will inevitably have a dryer fire? 

How long will it be before Izzo becomes the AD? 

Which apartment complex on Michigan Avenue will actually fill up?

How did Landshark go from a forbidden basement to a revamped Friday night hangout?

We’ve even let you in on an age-old State News secret in our coveted queso, guac or salsa debate.

The State News is a student newspaper, and we don’t want to lose focus of that. As students, we offer a unique perspective many of our competitors can’t. We know what students care about. We know what students want to see because we’re students too. 

There’s a story waiting to be written in each residence hall, each lecture building and even at Cedar Village for a semi-annual couch burning. This year, no story will go untold. 

If Olivia Rodrigo releases an album, we’ll be ready to record a  — far too long — episode of our arts and entertainment podcast Houselights. If a basketball player gets a meaningful tattoo, we’ll get a feature on it. 

As journalists, we are taught to always observe, and take in our surroundings. Find the things that seem out of place. Ask questions about them. 

Things might be weird this year, but we’ll always ask questions. Always observe. Spot the little things that might be out of place. 

As we see a return to campus, we’re excited to have more to keep an eye out for. This year, we are going to push to have some of our best content possible. 

Our content will be shared in many different ways. As we transition back to our newsroom, we are excited to increase the collaboration between our writers and multimedia reporters. Each story will be strengthened with photography that brings you into the setting. You can listen to our reporters break down their reports on our podcasts and videos. 

We will continue to challenge ourselves in our sourcing. For the past year we’ve tracked the people we talk to in an effort to advocate for diversity in our reporting. We share a yearly diversity report with our readers as well, breaking down the different people we have employed here at The State News. We will continue to implement both of these strategies because we know that despite our efforts in the past, this is an area we can consistently continue to improve in. 

We’ve been lucky: We’re one of the last remaining financially and editorially independent collegiate student newspapers. We’re even still able to pay our staff. 

A position at this paper is more sought after than you would think, so we’re implementing a freelance pool that will allow for students to pitch and write stories to be published on our site. It’s our hope this pool gives the maximum number of students interested in The State News, the opportunity to see their byline on the site. We know how important real-world experience is, especially in this industry, and as fellow student journalists we want to extend a helping hand.

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We’ve set the bar high for ourselves this semester, but we will not be surprised when our reporters go above and beyond anything we’ve seen before. We have brought in a mix of talented returning reporters and fresh new writers to offer a unique perspective to life at Michigan State. 

So to recap: The State News will offer exclusive coverage on the things our readers care about most. We’ll focus on telling these stories through our words, our photos and our videos, sparking conversation around the stories and communities we will be so proud to bring to light.  

By letting you in on our goals this semester, we hope you as readers can keep us on track. Follow our coverage and reach out to us about a story you want to see, or a topic you think goes unheard. Our inboxes are open.

This article is a part of our Welcome Week print issue. The full issue can be viewed here.

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