We don’t know, but they’re not writing for us
The Whitworthian is the most accessible and useful practical experience for writers at Whitworth.
Students of any major and experience level can join, and it does not count for overload credits (meaning that you do not have to pay, even if you are taking 17 credits already). Writers for The Whitworthian gain invaluable experience writing on a deadline for an editor, and making connections throughout campus (not everyone can get an interview with Beck Taylor as a freshman). The Whitworthian even offers paid positions.
Possible benefits are personal as well as professional. Working for a college newspaper allows students to forge friendships, discover interests and practice time management.
And yet, only four people are officially on our writing staff this semester.
Writing for The Whitworthian is great for students of any major, but it is practically essential for journalism and mass communication majors. Presumably, what we do at The Whitworthian is literally what many of the students of those majors are getting their degrees to do.
Of our six content editors, three are communication majors. Of our four writers, three are communication majors. This means that only six of the 61 declared communication majors enrolled at Whitworth write or work for The Whitworthian. That is not including the 34 communication minors, and those who have not declared a major this early in the year.
Those numbers also do not consider the 93 declared English majors. Even if a student does not intend to go into journalism, having a semester’s, a year’s or four years’ worth of published work is an excellent résumé and experience builder. Additionally, many authors get their starts in newspaper settings.
Natsihi is another avenue for writers on campus, and is a valuable experience as well. We have great respect for the content and design work they do and for the value of the yearbook.
Although we think that The Whitworthian is a more realistic representation of a reporting job (we have much faster deadlines, longer and more difficult story assignments and a good representation of newspaper environment), writing for Natsihi is a great experience for many of the same reasons that The Whitworthian is.
Communications and English students should be writing for some publication on campus. And yet, Natsihi only has six writers.
Again, students of any major are welcome and encouraged to join. Art students can create graphics or illustrations that will be published in print and online within a week. Political science students can express their varied views in the Opinions section.
Incidentally, if you have ever been upset because you think some group on campus is not getting enough attention, maybe the lack of attention is due to a lack of personnel.
We get that it’s a lot of work. Trust us. We understand that better than anyone. But especially for students in majors such as communication and journalism, English, political science and other degrees that depend on good communication skills, students should try to get as much experience (in interviewing, writing and editing work and communicating) and published work as possible.
Additionally, the more writers we have, the less work it makes for the rest of the staff, and the better the paper becomes. The blankness of this page is a statement, yes, but also a very real reflection of how difficult it is to fill an eight page newspaper with only four writers.
Please, if you readers have ideas about why no one wants to write for The Whitworthian, we’d love to hear. Write a letter to the editor. At least we’d have content.