So you wanna write for the student rag? Why not the TV station or radio shack? Charlotte Lytton lets us know why there’s such a divide and what we could do to stop it…
Writing for a university rag has become as integral to student life as late-night boozing and eating Pot Noodle. But why are other media outlets, such as TV and radio, constantly left lurking in the shadows?
If the technological explosion of the last decade has taught us anything, it’s surely that print is slowly going out of fashion, and paving the way for a new generation of communication. Either this message has failed to reach the campuses of Britain, or it is being ignored.
Every higher education institution has at least one print publication to its name, but only a fraction of these have TV or radio stations. There is nothing to suggest that funding plays a part in this, which makes me wonder why these overlooked outlets aren’t making more of what they’ve got.
The capacity for immediacy that live and recorded arts hold undoubtedly leaves greater room for failure, and it must be the fear of falling flat that is forcing would-be screen personalities into the safe-house of print.
Students are happier to put their names to articles that have been edited ten times over than run the risk of screwing up on air. Yes, it may be a harder craft to master, but this shouldn’t deter people from trying altogether.
The real measure of modern journalism has come from the inordinate growth of online material. Endless outpourings from the Twittersphere and blog-nation have transformed the way we read articles today, and being able to upload a breaking news story in an instant makes the web tower over other student media for up-to-the-minute information.
Where TV and radio used to offer a speed of transmission that print couldn’t, they are now simply no match for the internet. With most university publications having a supplementary website to their paper, it seems as though all bases have been covered, and there is little room for anyone else.
Having maligned people’s conservatism in refusing to step away from print, I must acknowledge my own utter hypocrisy. This article is, of course, printed, and writing it has consequently submerged me into the depths of safe student journalism.
Whilst I did briefly contemplate getting involved with the TV and radio stations on campus, ultimately, I opted for the security of my own pen, confident in the knowledge that I could rant, ramble and drop in frighteningly regular euphemisms without repercussions.
I wanted to uncover some cold hard statistics that would expose students’ distaste for campus TV and radio. I wanted screams of how inaccessible they are, how they don’t boast the same finesse as print, and how they will never live up to the legacy created by university rags. In failing to do this, however, I can only speak from my own personal experiences, and make some observations.
In order to wipe the stigma attached to the world outside of print, something must be done, and as the oldest of campus media, it is the job of student newspapers and magazines to instigate collaborative endeavours.
In a society that craves a relentless stream of live news, working together is surely the future of truly informed media, and is the key to enticing fearful bores like me into a new, on-air world.
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After finishing my stint in student media, I couldn’t help but look