Dear SOU students,
My name is Eli Stillman and recently I’ve become the editor in chief for our school newspaper, The Siskiyou. I only started school here in the fall, but instantly felt like a part of the campus life as a result of working part time at The Hawk as well as competing on our cross country team. When I’m not running or writing, I spend my time thinking about the Sacramento Kings and bass fishing. I have always had interests in journalism and creative writing but received few opportunities to pursue them due to limited programs at my former schools. The main reason that I got into journalism is that I enjoy researching stories, deciphering information and conveying it to an audience in my own words.
Though I am equally as ambitious as the day I began writing, it disheartened me during my first few weeks when peers would respond to my publications by saying something along the lines of, “I didn’t even know we had a paper.”
I realize that university press might not evoke interest in many students, but I firmly believe it can be a powerful tool for information and connectivity on campus. Especially for a close-knit and creative school like ours. I was not a student at the time but I believe popularity of the paper dropped in 2012 when printed press was cancelled and it became strictly an internet source of publication. Also, the recent cutting of our school’s journalism program possibly could explain the lack of interested writers on campus.
It is my personal belief that many people could be great at writing and reporting but don’t give themselves the opportunity to try. I think that a creative mind is the only requirement for being successful and that vocabulary, sentence structure, and composition will follow with experience.
This fall we had a dedicated staff that worked hard to get a strong turnover rate of stories which resulted in more views than we have had in the recent past, but I know it could be better. In order to work towards expansion and better development of a school paper we need more hands on deck.
I am asking for those of you with creative minds, useful skills, or curiosity in these fields to look into taking this journalism class and contributing to The Siskiyou. Not only will you receive credit but you will also gain important competencies in a unique and supportive setting. As a personal testament, in the few months I have been on staff I have felt my writing strengthen significantly along with my analytical skills during everyday life situations.
For now, my experience as a reporter may be limited, but I believe that as my words are becoming stronger, my visions for this paper are growing as well. Media coverage and reporting are crafts that we need to keep alive and honest, especially with so much false information floating around in cyberspace. It is my promise to each and every Raider that while I am in this position, I will do everything I can to keep the voice of SOU students as loud and truthful as possible.