Journalism Program Bulks Up as the Student Paper Returns

by Josh Cowden

 

 

The student voice continues to be a point of emphasis for PPCC. Whether it be through Parley, the literary and arts journal, the local radio station, or even Student Government, PPCC makes it a point for students to be heard.

Now, the school is bringing back the student-run newspaper. This will be the first semester of the paper’s return, and students and staff await its debut. The soft-launch of the paper (called The Paper) is Sept. 11.

The inaugural edition debuts Sept. 13 at Noon and can be found at ppccpaper.org or at paper.ppcc.edu.

Leading the program this time around is Professor Deidre Schoolcraft, a longtime PPCC employee, and Associate Professor Jenna Benson, a 2004 PPCC graduate and recently hired full-time professor.

PPCC’s previous print newspaper, The Pikes Peak News, had a long life here, but after Journalism professor, Janet Rohan, retired, and interest began to fade out of the print newspaper sphere, the school decided to cut the program.

With an exciting new venture in the world of online publications, The Paper is looking to bring a fresh take on student and community news, as well as to highlight the great events at PPCC. Sections will include everything from sports and news to art and culture.

Professor Schoolcraft said it is exciting to have a real, live paper. She says The Paper will act as a learning lab for students and teach them real-world writing skills that will help them get actual jobs in marketing and writing. “Our student journalists are fabulous, too,” she said.

Schoolcraft said, “News, if done well, both connects people and informs them. Now more than ever we have need of a community space that will bring faculty, staff and students together on all kinds of local and national issues.”

While the journalism program has always remained a track option for an Associate’s Degree, without a student paper and fewer classes being offered over the last few years, there was a clear decline in students interested in the Journalism field. This in turn made for low enrollments for some of those Journalism specific classes, keeping them available only online through CCCS.

Benson said journalism is a different animal than it used to be, and added that student interest has shifted away from traditional journalism to those more interested in new media and citizen journalism.

PPCC is hopeful that the rebirth of the student paper with a solid group of student journalists enrolled for the semester, will be the start of a much brighter future for the Journalism department. Either way, the students enrolled are excited to help create a brand new platform in which student voices can be heard.

“When I worked for the school paper, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I was involved in the community through it, and I felt I had expanded my understanding of my fellow students,” said Benson.

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