Reader engagement, visual appeal among goals

Let’s all be honest with ourselves right now. How many people on campus actually knew we had a weekly, student-run newspaper until you started reading this? Now, I am sure many people could answer yes to that question. But I will pose an even better question: How many people actually read The Concordian on a weekly basis?

If all you could muster was a “Maybe, sometimes,” don’t worry; you won’t hurt my feelings. What we want to do, however, is to get people to change that answer to a “Yes. It’s my favorite part of the week.” Or something along those lines.

As the new Editor-in-Chief of The Concordian, I want to do things differently than years past. Of course we will continue to bring the campus news about a variety of different issues and events. We will publish our opinion to hopefully incite a reaction from the students, staff and faculty.

But something I feel has been lacking in recent years is you, the reader. We want your opinions, feedback and most importantly, your participation. To improve and build upon these aspects, we will be making changes to the paper in a variety of ways.

First, The Concordian will have a greater presence on social media. Believe it or not, we do have a facebook page and a twitter, so keep a look out for story postings and links back to our website, www.theconcordian.org. Feel free to have debates in the facebook comments section about a certain issue or story. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, retweet us. We would like that.

Second, I want to make the paper more visually engaging. So, in addition to some design changes, I am going to hide something in each issue. What exactly does that mean? Well, in each issue I will hide something very small – a picture or phrase – somewhere on any page of the issue. It might be in the very corner of a page or within a story, but once you find the hidden item, whatever it may be, email concord@cord.edu, and a prize will be given to the first person to find it. It will almost be a “Where’s Waldo?” of sorts, except I never won a prize when I found Waldo. With this search, you will.

Finally, The Concordian is your paper, so we want to see you and your voice in it. We will be doing a “Reader’s Choice” issue later in the year. We will be asking everyone on campus their favorite places to get the best grub, favorite hot spots for the sickest music around (yeah, we realize how that sounds), and many more “favorite” categories.

But on a more serious note, we ultimately want to cover issues you feel passionate about. Let us know via our social media pages or email, and we will put forward our best efforts to cover a story for you. After the paper comes out and you give it a good read, if you have an opinion about it, post your feedback on our social media pages. If one of our stories makes you angry, tell us why. If you think one of our stories is worth of a pulitzer prize, tell us.

While this may be a college newspaper, we want to serve not only the student body, but also alumni and the community. We want to produce quality issues week in and week out. We will try our best, but know we will need everyone to make The Concordian what it truly should be – a real newspaper.

Sean Plemmons

I'm Sean Plemmons, the Editor-in-Chief for the 2014-2015 school year and a member of the class of 2015 at Concordia. I am a Multimedia Journalism and Political Science major with an English Writing minor. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at concord@cord.edu. Journalism is part of my life, and everyone else's. Let's tell stories the right way.

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