by Carolina VonKampen
Last year, I was sitting in a Student Senate meeting, minding my own business, when suddenly The Sower became a topic of discussion. Somehow, the discussion turned into students brainstorming ways The Sower could be “improved,” and it culminated with “Maybe you could just email the pdf of The Sower to everyone.”
It was clear that students weren’t aware of why The Sower does what it does, and that’s on us as a newspaper staff. If our audience isn’t clear as to why The Sower exists, then it’s our job as a newspaper to communicate that.
Part of The Sower’s purpose is to tell stories. We tell the stories that happen here in this Christ-centered Concordia community. Some of the stories are happy, some aren’t so happy—but that’s the way it is in life. We are committed to highlighting the stories that happen here, and we’re constantly searching for ways to do it better.
This year, we’re going to publish a monthly 8-page print newspaper and deliver it to your hall. We think that printed material is still a valuable way to communicate and share stories. After all, how many of you bought a print copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a few weeks ago even though there’s loads of Harry Potter content online? Print still has value. There’s a difference between receiving an email with a pdf that you never even open and seeing a newspaper with pictures of your fellow students and faculty and staff on the front page.
Besides doubling the size of the print issues from last year, we’re also going to separate stories into more sections, most notably a separate section for Arts & Culture. The arts are huge here in the Concordia community, and we want to have a special section dedicated to music, art, theatre, speech and more. We’re also going to publish reviews of concerts, movies, books and anything else our reporters are excited to write about.
Additionally, our sports section will cover more than just college sports. We’ll write about other recreational activities that students are doing and how students can stay fit during the school year.
And of course we’ll still cover news, write feature stories on cool things people in the Concordia community are doing, and publish opinion pieces about what’s important to our students.
But it doesn’t stop there. We’re not just publishing a print issue of The Sower. We’re writing even more stories for our online site, cunesower.com. We’ll regularly publish stories and photos to our site and then let you know about those stories through our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
We’re also going to publish a weekly email newsletter that gathers all the new and notable stories we’ve published online and share them with you. Watch our social media and these print issues for instructions on how to sign up to receive The Sower in your inbox weekly!
But all of that—telling stories and developing new and improved ways to do it—is only part of what The Sower does. The Sower also functions as valuable pre-professional experience for students. In short, it looks good on your resume and gives you work to put in your portfolio. And it’s not just an opportunity for writers and journalism majors! We also offer photography, marketing, social media, copy editing and design positions that give students a wide range of work experiences. There are all sorts of people on our team, and we all have one thing in common: we love telling stories, whether it’s through writing, photos, ads, social media, design or editing.
We hope you’ll engage with our stories this year. Read the print issue, read our stories online and let us know what you want us to cover! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to or use the hashtag #SowerReports on social media to tell us about stories you think are interesting in the Concordia community. And please consider joining our staff if you have a passion for telling stories and want paid experience in doing what you love!