Advisory committee discusses future of The Broadside

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Graphic by Spencer Light | The Broadside (Contact: slight@cocc.edu)

By Miles Flynn | The Broadside (Contact: mflynn@cocc.edu)

The Broadside has been losing readership and staff steadily over the past few years.

Due to this, an advisory committee was assembled with a group of people from across campus to examine the current state of The Broadside. The Broadside Task Force came together during the school year to talk about future viability and future directions according to Andrew Davis, director of Student Campus Life and member of the task force.

“It’s pretty well known that readership and student participation are down, so we just wanted to step back and look at the history of the Broadside as well as trends in print media to figure out what to do moving forward,” Davis said.

The task force started in Feb. of 2018, and they are now looking to suggest “possible structural changes that would make participation stronger, and would hopefully lead to students getting more effective training in journalistic standards,” according to Davis.

One such suggestion is to expand the journalism department (currently, one reporting class is offered) and have those students work at the paper, rather than the current system of seeking out the position. “I think it would be great if a whole lot more students read it, and they read it because it was a place they sought out campus content,” Davis said.

Ron Paradis, executive director of Public Relations for COCC and another member of the task force, sees the value in student journalism and went into the task force wanting to see “if we can make The Broadside a more viable experience in the future, and what changes would make the possible.”

“I look at the University of Oregon as the standard. When I was going to school it was the Oregon Daily Emerald and when my kids went it was the Oregon Daily Emerald,” Paradis said, adding that the school changed their paper’s name to simply the Daily Emerald after stopping daily print editions. “From what I can tell, their move toward digital has been successful.”

“There’s normally a strong tie between the experience of being part of The Broadside and an academic program in journalism, which we haven’t had,” Paradis concluded, saying the task force is interested in seeing if a deal can be reached in which more academic journalism opportunities are available to students, which he believes would ultimately benefit The Broadside.

For now, the suggestions the task force is formulating will sit with their members until more of the administration can review them, and The Broadside will maintain open positions any student can fill. 

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