By Joce DeWitt

There was a time I can remember thinking that my dream career of journalism was a little too grandiose. As if it weren’t reachable or something. The fact that as a high school senior I decided to attend a university without a journalism program did not help my unsettled feelings much to be honest, until I got to campus for the START program. It was there that I learned about New Media Communications and all of the opportunities that came along with being a liberal arts major. Among all of the opportunities—and there have been many—Student Media at OSU has proven to be the most demanding, challenging, provoking and fun.

This is how the story goes: I’m at START with only the knowledge that I want to be in Liberal Arts. I did not know a specific major, I just knew I wanted to write—and I wanted to learn how to do it in such a way that massive amounts of people would be able to read it. Cue Mr. Louie Bottaro: my academic advisor and friend (or at least according to Facebook and Twitter) of four years now. He was at the Liberal Arts booth that day and after I told him I wanted to write, he stuck me in New Media. It was all uphill from there. I enrolled in NMC 101 fall term of my freshman year and became hooked. The instructor of that class (the beloved Pam Cytrynbaum) told us this on the very first day of class: walk to Snell Hall, and fill out an application for Student Media. It was not an official requirement for the class, but the way she talked about it, it might as well have been. So I went.

One can imagine this awkward little freshman girl from a small private school overseas, with only the experience of her high school yearbook under her journalism belt, walking into the office of The Daily Barometer with little to no expectations. I told whoever it was that I saw at the student-run newspaper that I wanted to write for them, and I didn’t care which section or how they used me because all I wanted was experience. My first column was published within a week.

The editors at the Barometer gave me their time teaching me the basic know-how of clean and clear newspaper writing. Fast-forward three years to the present and I am now the Barometer’s News Editor in my senior year, preparing to graduate with a degree in New Media and two newspaper internships underway.

Student Media is what the name implies: a faction of the university that, minus a couple of advisors, is completely student-motivated. It includes three units of print (The Daily Barometer, Prism Literary and Art Magazine, and Beaver Yearbook) as well as KBVR-TV and KBVR-Radio. NMC students are required to take part in Student Media for at least three terms for practicum credit, but that does not mean that New Media students are the only ones involved. In fact, the editorial staff at the Barometer has only one other New Media major beside myself. The point is: any student can work for student media, and get credit for it. Not to mention some of the facets, like the Barometer, pay all their reporters/photographers/sports writers/column writers.

During my sophomore and junior years I was lucky enough to do three terms with KBVR-TV on the Beaver Sports Show. KBVR is broadcasted on local channel 26 to Corvallis and students directly and produces all of its shows. I learned an immeasurable amount there about TV production, camera usage, being on TV, etc. What I’m trying to get at is students are not limited to only one facet of the institution of student media. Therefore, should a student find the motivation he/she has the capability to host a radio show, produce a TV show, write a column, take pictures for the yearbook and edit submissions for Prism, figuratively speaking. The best part? Training is done by students and is an on-going process, so no previous experience is necessary to work for any one of these mediums.

I will close with a challenge. No matter what your major, dear liberal arts students, consider getting involved at Student Media. It’s an experience that you will enjoy, learn from, develop connections, and much more.


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