Top Editor Candidates Provide Platforms for Student Paper of Future

The three finalists for the top editor position at The Daily Texan, the student newspaper at the University of Texas at Austin, have made public “platform statements” outlining their ideas about what makes a quality 21st-century student media outlet.

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The statements are intriguing for what the candidates agree and disagree about.  Agree: College Media Network (formerly College Publisher) is bad and student media need their own individual Web sites.  Disagree: Whether a campus newspaper should cover or steer clear of off-campus issues (a debate recently jumpstarted by The Villanovan).

A portion of the responses are below.  All three should be commended for their passion and willingness to lead.  Who would you vote for??

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It’s NOT About Pleasing Obama: “I will continue to make University issues the main focus of the paper. Focusing on University and local issues keeps the paper relevant. Nationally acclaimed newspapers, magazines and Web sites are in a better position to hear and report on national politics and events. We do not need to re-report what we read from other media. The paper should do as much original reporting as possible on topics that are relevant to students . . . That way, our writers will really be able to make an impact. [UT-Austin] President William Powers reads our paper. President Barack Obama doesn’t.”  – Jillian Sheridan

On the Other Hand…: “I would also encourage the continued pursuit of stories outside the University realm, including those that involve Texas political legislation and current events throughout the world. I think it is also important to stress issues that will affect students over the years – even after they have long since graduated from UT – such as the economy, the state of the country’s job market and breakthroughs in science and technology.”  – Audrey Campbell

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Stop the Shovelware!: “All too often, newspapers simply copy and paste content onto their Web site, rewrite the headline and call it a day. This makes for a very dull site, and current Web users and news consumers want more than this regurgitated content. Ideally, there should be some sort of non-textual element with every story on the Web, be it a graph, video, audio file, photograph, table, etc. The Web requires new ways of expressing information and we need to utilize this tool in a much more efficient way than we previously have.”  – Josh Haney

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