In February, I wrote about why The Transcript exists and what we stand for as Ohio Wesleyan’s journalistic entity. While we do have financial ties to the university that keep us in print, we are an independent news organization, not a public relations service or promotional machine. This has been true since we printed our first issue in 1867, and it will never change.
Soon, though, a few things will. At the end of the semester, two of our most valuable editors—sports editor Heather Kuch, and managing editor, online editor and business manager Elizabeth Childers—will graduate. They will leave big shoes to fill, and the staff will certainly miss them. But they’ve helped us set The Transcript on a new path.
Over the past twelve weeks, the Transcript staff have done our best to pursue the truth and report it to the OWU and Delaware communities. We’ve published formerly untold stories that deserve to be heard, in-depth investigations of important issues, commentary on relevant events and topics that deserve editorial attention, and coverage of the incredibly active campus we call home.
This, first and foremost, is what you can expect from The Transcript. In the next semester and those following our pages will continue to be filled with the information Ohio Wesleyan deserves to know.
You can also expect to have more opportunities to give us feedback about what we do. Next semester we will have at least two open forums with the entire editorial staff to put faces to the bylines, answer questions and receive comments from the campus community about how The Transcript can serve it better.
Additionally, our online coverage will extend beyond the stories in the paper every Thursday. In the capable hands of incoming online editor Sophie Crispin, The Transcript’s website will become more interactive and feature content exclusive to the internet. You can also expect our social media presence to be bigger—you won’t be able to keep us out of your news feeds.
We also expect a less obvious improvement with the help of incoming business manager Anji Herman—more advertising.
It’s arguable that no one likes ads. They take up space and get in the way of the content that is the heart of our paper. But they have an indirect benefit. Advertising is The Transcript’s only revenue source besides the money the administration allocates to the journalism department, and that revenue is what we rely on to make our coverage as thorough and engaging as possible. Put simply, more money means more tools for us to produce content that further illuminates the stories we print.
You can also expect The Transcript to have a new look in the fall. The inside pages will become more consistent with the front-page flag with which we’ve branded ourselves since 2009 to create a more recognizable, attractive publication.
As independent as The Transcript is, we won’t be able to achieve these goals without you.
We exist for the benefit of Ohio Wesleyan students, faculty and staff, as well as residents of Delaware. We want to know when we’re not serving you as well as we could be. It’s our responsibility to hold ourselves accountable and live up to our journalistic standards in the first place. But we want to be called out and corrected when we need to be. We will do everything in our power not to create such situations, but if we slip up—as humans are wont to do—we want to know.
We’re also always in need of people to join us in these ventures. If you have any interest or experience in journalism, photography, web design, page design, video or proofreading, come to our first meeting in the second week of the fall semester, and consider registering for JOUR 378. We welcome anyone and everyone, and we’re always incredibly grateful for the help.
Journalism at Ohio Wesleyan has a bright future, and we see The Transcript as being an integral part of it. Thank you for your continued support and criticism. We hope you’ll join us for what’s ahead.