As I walk around campus during these first few weeks of my senior year at Texas Wesleyan, I hear the familiar complaints.
“No one reads The Rambler,” a student says with a sneer.
“I refuse to be interviewed by The Rambler. They won’t quote me accurately,” a faculty member says with disdain.
Some students might find these words discouraging, but I find them inspirational. As I take on my new role of editor-in-chief of Rambler Media Group, after being a content producer last spring, I will do my best to ensure that these statements no longer ring true.
I realize that accuracy is of primary importance. For stories published both online and in print, I require all staff to record all interviews as well as provide me with contact information for all of their sources. This ensures accurate quotes, and allows me to verify those quotes with sources before they are published. This also gives me the opportunity to reach out to sources to verify that RMG is being represented professionally by all staff members.
Beyond accuracy, I have three main goals for RMG this semester. The first is to increase our online readership through a stronger social media presence. As a bi-weekly paper, most of our content is published on our website, therambler.org. Every online story is now teased on at least Facebook and Twitter, if not our other social media platforms as well. This has already proven successful, as our online stories this semester have received more than 3,500 views in the first three weeks alone.
The second is to further integrate Rambler TV and The Rambler. This will not only give our student staff the opportunity to learn and gain experience in both print and broadcast journalism, but also ensure that we are not wasting time and effort providing double coverage to some events while not covering others at all.
My third goal is to increase the amount of multimedia stories we produce. This means that in addition to an original photograph to accompany all stories, most stories will also have an audio clip, video clip, graphic or additional photos. This will not only make our content more in line with what other major publications are doing, but also make our stories more interesting, relatable and informative to our readers.
This continues to build upon the work started by former Editor-in-chief Valerie Spears, who redid our website a year ago, making it more mobile and user friendly. Last spring, therambler.org won second place in Best Web Navigation from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association; we have also won numerous awards from the Associated Collegiate Press and Society of Professional Journalists.
I plan to continue the award-winning trend of bringing RMG into the modern era of journalism. Of course, none of this would be possible were it not for the top-notch staff I’ve brought to RMG this semester.
Sophomore mass communication major Karan Muns has already begun providing great coverage of Wesleyan’s new football team. Junior mass communication major Shaydi Paramore has, although in only her first semester at Wesleyan, uncovered more stories deserving of coverage than any other staff member. And sophomore Calvin Johnson, our digital media editor, despite a grueling class schedule as a music major, has produced content for both Rambler TV and the website in these first few busy weeks.
These are just a few of the amazing students we have on staff. For a full staff list and bios, visit therambler.org.
It’s time for the faculty, staff and students of Wesleyan to forgive the Rambler Media Group’s past mistakes, and join us in providing the university the media coverage it deserves. As we embark on the 100-year anniversary of being the voice of Texas Wesleyan University, lend us your voice, so that we may continue for 100 years to come.
If there is anything you would like covered by RMG, or if you have any questions or comments concerning RMG, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.