Student Journalist Spotlight: Tobias Davis, Editor, Student Newspaper

As CMM reported late last month, a student-run online publication was recently launched at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln by undergraduates aching for a greater conservative voice on campus.  It received a minor spate of media attention upon its arrival, including a mention in The Daily Nebraskan. Its name: Student Newspaper.

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In an interview with CMM, Tobias Davis, the SN’s top editor, shared a bit about his life and his new newspaper.

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Tobias Davis is top editor at UN-L's online Student Newspaper.

Tobias Davis is top editor at UN-L's online Student Newspaper.

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The basics.

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I grew up in Omaha, in a gang-infested neighborhood where gunshot sounds were not entirely uncommon. Now I live in Lincoln, where I can hear the sounds of drunken college students on weekends. I guess I would rather have the second one. I spend my days in class, my nights studying, and extra time is spent wishing I could be sleeping. I’m working on my Mechanical Engineering degree, hoping to do freelance work later on in life. I come from a family of thirteen kids, all home-schooled, and I loved it. Now I am “in charge” of a handful of volunteer writers who are trying to help influence the community. It’s an exciting world, an exciting time, and I am liking it!

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Write a six-word memoir of your Student Newspaper experience so far.

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People have opinions, readers more so.

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To all the campus media haters out there: Why does Student Newspaper matter?

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The importance of a press unregulated by corporate governments (in this case, the university) has been well argued by the majority of this country’s founding fathers.

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Student Newspaper———

What is the coolest part about being Student Newspaper‘s top editor?

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To me, the best part is connecting with people who think similarly.

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What is one story you’re especially proud to have reported or edited for the site so far?

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My favorite story so far is an article detailing the eugenics-esque abortion of Down Syndrome babies. Topics like abortion are usually controversial, and this one brought the controversy to a good place.

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Where do you fit in with other student media at UN-L, including The Daily Nebraskan?

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We are run by volunteers, and funded by volunteers. The official school paper is funded by student fees and is distributed all over town. Kind of hard to compete with that, but we can try.

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Behind-the-scenes in the newsroom.

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We don’t have an official newsroom, so we always end up finding a room last minute. When we are trying to find each other we often operate under military code names for fun, so phone calls like “Alpha team spotted on my six” are pretty common.

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What is one question we should all be asking much more often about the current state or future of journalism?

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Major media usually operate under the guise of “unbiased” journalism, but any serious observer should realize the large amount of yellow journalism going on. Isn’t the decision of what articles to publish an act of bias? Isn’t speaking of a person or view with disdain a type of biased reporting? These are questions I wish the General Q. Public would ask themselves more.

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You wake up in ten years.  Where are you and what are you doing?

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When I wake up in ten years I will probably be doing the same thing: Wishing I could get just a little more sleep. I am always up late doing personal studies and research, and I don’t see that changing.

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