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Letter from the editor: New look, same Spectator

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/SPECTATOR

Written by Jordan Barela, Editor-in-Chief   

“The Spectator is the independent student newspaper of Valdosta State University.”

This is the one thing that staff members and editors have been saying whenever someone asks about the paper, calling for an interview, or just simply describing the paper.

There is one keyword in that phrase that is becoming dated: newspaper.

The Spectator is not just a newspaper. Not anymore.

Journalism is changing rapidly. To keep up with the times, The Spectator is changing as well.

In April, the staff released our first “berliner” on racism.  A berliner is a modification of a tabloid sized newspaper.  Armed with a sleek new format and design, The Spectator is now aimed at a more modern style newspaper. The new format allows for magazine style covers and crisp, brighter paper which allows the content to better pop off the page.

Along with the new format, come new creative possibilities. With the new format, the staff is also working to build a more digital presence. That means more videos, more web exclusive content, and a way to get your news on the go.

In short, journalism is moving in a digital direction and The Spectator is following in that direction.

With the new format and our move in a more digital direction, we want to engage our readers from multiple facets.

Not only is The Spectator going in multiple creative directions, we have new members of the editorial staff to lead and route The Spectator in those directions.  With the new faces on the editorial board, come new faces in the guise of staff writers, photographers, videographers, and everything in between.

Not only did we release our new format in April, other multiple events happened.

A protest by one group and the interference of one individual led to multiple other protests on campus. Not only did these protests and events grace the pages of our paper and the homepage of our website, the protests garnered national media buzz. For a while, The Spectator was not the only news outlet on campus.  It seemed that VSU was on the verge of falling into a racial and social chasm.

Along with these events, a whole new administrative staff, budget cuts and the decreasing enrollment rate was also brought to the forefront of VSU. While the budget cuts and the declining enrollment rates have people pondering the future of VSU, there is one thing that is true. You need to know about these issues. As a student, as a member of faculty or staff, as a parent, you need to know what is going on with your university. That is where we come in.

Most people think that we only allow journalism majors to work for us. All that we ask for to join the staff is to have a passion for journalism. We are always looking for new members to come and get work published, both daily and weekly. It is a great feeling knowing that you wrote and reported on a great story, edited and recorded a terrific video, or even tried to get that one great photograph.  We look forward to providing VSU with the news it needs to know.

We can now change the word “newspaper” to “news organization”.


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One comment

  1. Thank you for this update. Back “in the day”(1973-1977) i was a typist for a year for the Spectator. I always enjoyed our paper.
    You commented that with budget cuts and declining enrollment, that there seems to be”an uncertainty” for VSU. Can you give me an idea of what that means? Would the university close? Or perhaps become a satalite campus for Univ of Georgia?
    I hope neither occur and that with great leadership we change these issues. ..
    Thank you very much for continuing an important feature of VSU…the Spectator.

    Allison Taylor

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