It has been 125 years since the inaugural edition of The Crimson White, and journalism, along with the rest of the world, has changed. Students are now more apt to find information about the goings-on of campus from Twitter than our lovely little newspaper. Gone are the days of print news being the standard. Even television news is seemingly suffering as we transition to our new online world. More and more, we find the traditions of the past being dismantled in favor of new, innovative forms of media and information.
Needless to say, in another 125 years, The Crimson White will be indistinguishable from what it is now, if it is even around. It would not be inconceivable to think that the University may one day decide that a student run newspaper isn’t worth the time or money. The future of journalism is a mystery, but it would appear as if outlets with simple, digestible and interactive content are leading the way. In an effort to increase our reach, recent years have seen our newspaper prioritizing digital content and social media interaction more and more. As we strive to stay relevant in our digital age, we at The Crimson White pride ourselves on one thing: our commitment to getting the story right. However, this same unrelenting commitment to the facts is the very reason that the past 125 years don’t matter.
A reputation for quality journalism means nothing when releasing two newspapers each week. The only issue that matters, the only one the students care about, is the one currently on the newstands. No amount of history will ever cement our reputation so concretely that we can afford time off. Every week our credibility as a publication is put to the test. Glaring factual errors, despite how common they may be in our “fake news” era, have no place at The Crimson White. While the past 125 years readily reflects this, it only takes one story to destroy any sort of trust the student body has in our paper. Even something so simple as a typo creates the appearance of sloppiness and apathy, despite the thousands of papers released in prior years. Newspaper journalism is rooted in the current events of today, so if we can’t make a good paper today, we simply aren’t good journalists.
Regardless of the pressure to always be at the top of our game, each newspaper we put out is made with a smile. When you love what you do, it’s easy to go that extra distance to ensure that what you make is quality. More than anything, we hope to pass on the love and passion for journalism necessary to make a great newspaper to the various staffs who will be creating the next 125 years of The Crimson White.
As the school year progresses and yet another semester comes to a close, we must now begin to plan our future. Another year will bring fresh faces, new stories and the unique opportunity to continue a legacy of great journalism. While we can look to the past for those lessons best learned through experience, we must be mindful to never allow nostalgia to overtake us. The future is never found in the past, and the next great edition of The Crimson White won’t be found in our archives.