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ISSUE 120 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 4/27/2007

Moving forward

By Executive Editors
Executive Editor

Friday, April 27, 2007

As we head toward the end of another school year, the makeup of the Manitou Messenger is changing dramatically. Ten staff members are leaving the Mess as they prepare to graduate and enter the “real” world. In fact, next week’s issue of the Mess will be produced by a mostly rookie staff. The learning curve will be steep, and we ask that you are patient with us as we work out the kinks and try our best to deliver a fine publication to the student body.

As the new Executive Editors of the Mess, we would like to see the paper improve. Sometimes, the Mess is criticized as being dry or too formal. Last week, while interviewing potential staffers, a student lambasted the paper. He claimed that the Messenger failed to provide the student body with effective news coverage. (He even unfavorably compared us to The Carletonian, which, undoubtedly, is the ultimate insult for anyone that has logged time at the paper.) He followed the Carletonian judgement with a comparison to a high school student newspaper, stating that he has “heard countless people deride the paper as something worse than a high school paper.” In his writing sample, he said that he “no longer wants to be embarrassed” by the Messenger. It is not our intent to embarrass anyone.

We feel it is important to remember that the Mess is a resource of the student body. At its best, the paper is a forum for dialogue among students. We report on student events in News, cover campus sports and artistic events and provide students with a public soapbox through which to voice opinions on important issues. Hopefully, some fun leftovers work their way into the Variety section, too.

But if you don’'t enjoy the Mess’ coverage, the best way to make the situation better is to contribute your own unique voice to the paper. This year, we would like to see the paper delve into campus events with a more critical eye. We continually stress the importance of telling the untold story. It is our goal to find those people, places and things that are unpredictable, compelling and most of all, appealing to the student body.

We always invite suggestions from the student body, and without your voice, it is difficult to gauge how best to serve you. Although perhaps unconstructive, the criticism above did grab our attention. We will do our best to address suggestions posed by students. We promise to work hard to deliver an interesting, relevant and informative publication.

We realize that as a student body, we are collectively inundated with media. Every time we log onto the Internet, check out cable news channels or pick up a copy of the Star Tribune, we have to parse through vast quantities of information, most of which has been “spun” multiple times by the time it reaches our eyes and ears.

We consume information with abandon, and the Messenger wants to be a reliable news source that filters information that effects us directly through the critical eyes of the student body. We ask you to help us as much as possible when we pursue this task. But most importantly, please be patient with us as we transition into the new school year. We are very excited about the enthusiasm of the new staff because we are confident they are aware of their precise role – to serve you.

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