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Letter to the editor: Former editor makes pitch for IPFW paper

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, May 13, 2013 08:16 am
In the April 24 school news section, I read that The Communicator, IPFW’s student newspaper, received 11 awards from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association. As a former editor-in-chief, it is clear to me that the students who continue to produce the paper are excelling, even in trying times.In 2011, I won second place for “Best News Feature Story” in the same award contest. I would not have been able to do this without the mentorship and support system that the student paper fostered for me during the time I worked there.

As it turns out, my experiences paid off. Today, two years after graduation, I work as a staff writer for a larger newspaper, The Toledo Blade. I doubt I would have gotten to this position without the immense experience I was able to bring to the table after working in management at The Communicator.

The leadership skills I gained have highly impacted my current success, and I will always be grateful that my professional start was at that student newspaper. But I don’t think I can say this for future students. Times have changed, and the world of journalism continues to evolve. The university’s student government has reduced the paper’s portion of student fees and I suspect more cuts are on the way. I understand that the push is for more newspapers to go digital, and I have spent the past five years watching this evolve in student papers and larger publications.

However, I think it’s shortsighted to allow the paper to completely fold and close up. Students need experience working in both print media and digital media. It’s not a one-or-the-other option, which is why I think the university’s student government might be wrong. If the student paper is left to fall apart like the university’s journalism department did when I was a student, then I think IPFW is doing a major disservice to students.

Kelly McLendon

Toledo, Ohio


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