A look into the Pioneer’s future

Shannon Stroud,

One year ago, I received an email from my department saying that The Pioneer newspaper was hiring. I loved to write but I had no experience in journalism and I wasn’t sure if there was a place at the paper for beginners.

I was nervous when I walked into the Pioneer to attend my first editorial meeting with the newspaper team.

It was informative yet overwhelming. I was sitting in a room with about 15 other people who were throwing story ideas out left and right, and the story ideas were good. They pitched ideas about campus and community issues and upcoming events. I had nothing. As the meeting ended, I was sure I wouldn’t come back. I didn’t think I could ever find a story as good as the ones I had heard.

Before I could say no, I was already a writer”

Before I could quietly exit the room, the managing editor approached me and asked, “So what did you think?” I tried to be polite and tell her that I didn’t think that journalism was for me, but she wasn’t having it — instead of letting me leave the room she sat down, spoke to me for a bit and then handed me a story about Berkeley poets tackling politics to pursue. Before I could say no, I was already a writer.

The beauty of The Pioneer is that it’s a place to learn. Students, just like myself, come to our offices all the time looking for an opportunity to explore the world of journalism. Students, staff and faculty all work together to help prepare beginners so that they can get their story published.

Right now, we have a lot of seniors on staff who will graduate throughout the next year, so as a team we are working to bring in fresh faces to The Pioneer. It is now a group of about 5-10 of us who are the voice for this newspaper, but as a campus and community paper, it should reflect more of your voices as well.

As we work on trying to get more students writing for us, students and staff are doing their best to improve the paper by attending seminars, helping out in journalism classes and being more involved on campus. This weekend, three students and our faculty coordinator will be attending the College Media Awards in Austin, Texas, to attend journalism and media workshops and lectures.

From the conference we are hoping to bring back the tools and knowledge we need to help to create a better paper weekly. With classes like, “How to identify reports and trends” I’m certain that we will come back with new ideas to improve the quality of The Pioneer, in print and online.

Hopefully we will pull some tips and tricks on how to increase our online readership. For a long time now, the newspaper has heavily been focused on print and we are trying to move towards a more online news source by accommodating our online audiences with articles that include videos, audio clips and interactive graphics.

Recently we have been discussing how to make more multimedia stories — we have tossed ideas around of taking and creating more photographs, graphics, illustrations, videos and audio clips.

As we recruit, we are hoping to find people who are excited about our goals of becoming more of an online news source. We are looking for writers, reporters, bloggers, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, videographers, multimedia producers and social media enthusiasts to help the Pioneer grow into a better newspaper.

If you have ever thought about writing or journalism in general, stop by the Pioneer. Last year I tried to leave a Pioneer meeting and now this year I get to lead those meetings. The Pioneer has been one of the biggest highlights of my college career and I think it can be just as special to anyone who walks through our doors.