I believe a person needs sheer guts to do many things in life, like bungee jumping or eating tarantulas or bullfighting.
Student media is also one of those things.
But what is student media?
Officially, student or campus media consists of a media outlet or organization at a university/college that is run, produced, or operated by students.
A campus newspaper or the student-run radio station are both examples of campus media.
But unofficially, student media is so much more.
It’s frustrating, exciting, stressful, irritating and even insufferable sometimes.
It’s the late night last minute phone calls you make to your photo editor, when it’s production night and you’re frantically looking for the pictures that he promised to send FIVE HOURS AGO.
It’s the pressure to publish the weekly issue of your campus newspaper on time.
It’s that ecstatic feeling you get in your esophagus when you see your byline published for the very first time.
It’s also the excitement of hosting your very own radio show on your campus radio station.
It’s also the weekly staff meetings, the insane faculty advisor, and the chance to put something substantial on your resume.
Student media is an absolutely, positively insane experience.
But the insanity is 100 percent worth it.
The great thing about student media is that everybody gets a shot.
Someone once told me that it didn’t even matter if you could spell or put a sentence together correctly; no one could stop you from joining.
It’s meant to be a learning experience. For everyone. The editor-in-chief, the adviser, the student executive producer, the staff writer, everyone.
Perhaps my favorite thing about student media is that everyone who participates in it, in no matter what capacity, has guts.
You take a huge risk. You’re put on a pedestal for the entire campus to see.
But in the end, you grow. You have fun. And you get to meet quite the interesting characters.
Throughout this blog, you’ll learn more about what I dub “The Gutsiest Activity in the World.”
I’ll take you through the different student media outlets (newspapers, magazines, TV news shows/networks, and campus/community radio stations) of different Chicago universities and colleges.
I’ll introduce you to some of student media’s heroes: the student leaders who run the publications, news networks, and radio stations, all while trying to maintain that awesome grade point average and just deal with life in general; and the advisers who are there to help the students every step along the way.
I’ll feature a “Story of the Week” from a different Chicago student media outlet.
I’ll also offer some insights into the student media world and give analysis of current trends being used by students to produce campus media.
Got any ideas to send my way? Maybe there’s a student media leader or adviser I should feature? Think your campus media piece should be my “Story of the Week?” I’d love to hear from you! Send thoughts my way to firstname.lastname@example.org.