The Oswegonian: Oswego State’s Independent Student Newspaper

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By Heather Clark

The Oswegonian is one of three media organizations run by Oswego State students. Along with WTOP-10, the student run television station, and WNYO, the student run radio station, the Oswegonian strives to give Oswego State students and residents in the surrounding area the facts.

 

The Oswegonian is a not for profit student newspaper that had its beginning in 1935 and has evolved from a simple, weekly newspaper into a weekly digital and print newspaper. Our physical paper has shrunk but is filled to the brim with content including the tabloid “Laker Review.” The Oswegonian has a circulation of 3,000 newspapers delivered all over campus and the Oswego community.

Anything that is in the physical newspaper is also submitted to the website where it can reach a broader community. Also, a newsletter was launched at the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester that has the biggest stories from each section for that week.

There are four sections: News, Sports, Opinion and Arts and Entertainment, known as the “Laker Review.”

News handles on and off campus related news stories. Sports covers Oswego State sports, no national teams. Opinion and Laker Review can have both on campus, national and even international topics.

There is no shortage to what people can write.

Jobs

There are all sorts of opportunities available at the Oswegonian.

Section heads and their assistants run their section whether it be news, sports, opinion or “Laker Review.” Copy editors edit all of the work that comes in and help in any way they can. img_9409

 

We have photographers and creative directors who make everything look beautiful.

On the business end, our business staff makes sure we have everything we need to publish every week. Our advertising and promotional teams help to get funds so we can have extra pages or even an extra tabloid like our semesterly Hockey Guide.

Then there’s the managerial positions: managing editor and editor-in-chief. We run the newspaper and make sure everything is running as close to on time as possible.

Staff/contributing writers are the reason we have a paper. They’re the ones who write our content and help us give the community the facts. Writers don’t have to be journalism or creative writing majors either! Anyone can write for the Oswegonian. Stories from all majors have been published. All a writer has to do is send their story to an editor. It’s that simple!

The Oswegonian is a product of the mandatory student activity fee from the campus Student Association.

Printing

The Oswegonian does not have a printing press on the Oswego State campus. We send the paper to a company that is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They plate and print the paper every week.

Typically, they are receiving the paper around 9 or 10 O’clock on a Thursday night and get it to our delivery staff as early as 10 O’clock Friday morning.

Independent

At the Oswegonian, independent is the most important part of our goniansname. That simple word means we have nothing to do with the school or the administration or Student Association. Sure, they can send us advertisements for different events but they cannot control what we print. We do. The editors. Students. It’s our job.

It sounds like a lot but when it really comes down to it, it’s just seeking the truth and reporting it. It’s not too much to ask for. It’s what journalism majors have engraved into their brains when they take JLM 209: Intro. to newswriting and reporting.

Diversity

The focus of most of our readings these passed couple weeks centered around diversity. In the past at the Oswegonian, we faced our fair share of backlash for not being “diverse enough.”

My first year on staff, a previous editor wrote on a national blog about how the Oswegonian was a “boys club” and that women had no say in what was going on in the office and that their ideas were shut down.

I can’t tell you how false these accusations were.

Sure, there were more men involved at the time but the ideas from the women on staff were always taken into consideration. It wasn’t like the VIDA charts where it was 70 percent men and 30 percent women being published. That hasn’t been the case, at least since I’ve been working there.

Now if this disgruntled editor was around for this year, they’d see the office is run by women. It’s about a 50-50 split actually with who’s in the office. But all of our officers are women.

We don’t discriminate against anyone. Especially our writers and their topics. Just don’t generalize and we’re all set.

We want our staff writers to feel comfortable enough to come into the office and hang out or help out in any way they can. No idea is a bad one. We’ve had contributing and staff writers come in and pitch ideas that were published the following week. Like I said, no idea is a bad one.

Second Family

Imagine spending almost 10 hours a day in a tiny office with a bunch of people.

Welcome to Wednesday and Thursday at the Oswegonian.

Making a weekly paper can be difficult, but it is also a lot of fun. Spending all that time in a confined space, working together has given us all a sense of family.

It has been my second home for the passed 2 1/2 years.

In the early days of my job at the Gonian, some of editors slept on the newspapers we kept piled in the back. Yeah, it used to take us that long to put out a newspaper.

Now, not so much, but the time it used to take to get the paper out now allows us to spend time as a unit and become closer as a workforce family, including potlucks at each others houses on weekends and “field days” where we get together and play a bunch of games.

 

First and foremost, we are team. But, when it comes down to it, we’re a family too.

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All photos provided by Heather Clark

 

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4 thoughts on “The Oswegonian: Oswego State’s Independent Student Newspaper

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  1. This was an informative piece mostly, about the Oswegonian. I didn’t really realize the depths of the independence of the paper, I thought you were an organization that would have some form of staff advisor, like the GLR does, but apparently that’s not true? I would have just liked to know how the Oswegonian got its beginning as an organization run out of the college but not by the college. Well written.

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  2. First, I didn’t know that this magazine faced back lash for lacking diversity. In fact that’s really an odd statement to hear. At least in my creative writing experience the men are lacking in class. It’s good to hear that the group as a whole didn’t feel that this opinion was true, but still actively tried to change the public’s mind. Really the public opinion does matter in these cases even if it is based on falsities.

    I also didn’t know that some of our mandatory fees went towards this. It’s sort of that mystical thing that you don’t really know much about and because of that you get kind of mad at it and just hate that little number you’re forced to pay. It’s good to hear that some of it at least goes towards something good.

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  3. Considering that this is located at a university and that the general stance of such institutions is against discrimination, it surprised me to hear that someone would claim that the newspaper is discriminatory. It was good to hear, however, that such allegations are false.

    I was also (pleasantly) surprised to learn that the paper is actually independently run. Based on your writing, I can see how important this is to the paper, but it was news to me.

    Since you mentioned WTOP and WNYO I was wondering: Even though The Oswegonian is a not-for-profit newspaper, does it compete against the other two media organizations or do they ever collaborate? Can one be involved in more than one organization? I confess that I am quite ignorant of the media outlets and your blog post made me curious.

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  4. Wow! I confess that I was surprised to learn a company in PA prints the papers and gets them to you in under 24 hours. Is that usual in newspaper (or college newspaper) printing? I’m also impressed to hear that the Oswegonian has a circulation of 3000.

    You’ve included a lot of useful information in your post. However, if you return to this post for revision, I encourage you to think a little more about what your unique take on the Oswegonion might be. It might simply be discussing the newspaper through the lens of your experience on it (which would include getting more of that in earlier), or it might be using its independence as a primary theme, or it might be following a chronological history of the paper.

    Regarding diversity, it might be interesting to link to the article by the former editor, especially. I’d also be curious to hear if the staff reflects the racial diversity of the campus?

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