The Reveille Alumni Association has been flooded with comments about the potential of new revenue streams and the impending reduction of print publication for The Daily Reveille. LSU Student Media alumni worldwide have varying opinions on each one of the difficult issues spelled out in Elizabeth Crisp’s story, but we all agree on one thing: Students, not administrators, should be the ones who drive this conversation.
For more than 120 years, LSU Student Media has thrived as a hands-on laboratory that has nurtured countless award-winning journalists and media professionals as they learned how to produce newspapers, radio shows, magazines, television specials and more. All of Student Media’s output is produced in real time, on deadline, live over the airwaves, and in most cases, there is real pressure to generate revenue and sell advertising. While LSU advisers are on hand to guide these endeavors, the onus is very much on the students to deliver results — and that’s what makes LSU Student Media one of the best college programs in the nation.
Advertising salespeople learn the art of the pitch; editors learn grammar and news judgment. Reporters, programmers, radio hosts, television anchors and photographers actually practice their craft. These skills cannot simply be learned in the classroom, and the results speak for themselves. Student Media’s alumni don’t just include influential media members. Our ranks are chock-full of politicians, lawyers, doctors and business people who practice their professions around the world — and they all learned something valuable from their time within LSU Student Media.
The Reveille Alumni Association does not want the students who are the lifeblood and driving force of The Daily Reveille to be deprived the chance to potentially engage in the biggest debate that the media faces today: How does the news business survive in the hostile, hypercompetitive digital landscape? To deprive students the opportunity to be a part of this conversation is to deny them their education.
Our views will likely vary as much as administrators’ and students’ opinions. Everyone knows that digital media is not only the future, it is the present. But students — as the readers and the producers of the The Daily Reveille — must and should drive the conversation. We stand with them.
Mark F. Bonner
managing editor, International Business Times
co-founder, The Reveille Alumni Association
New York, New York