We, the staff of the SF Foghorn, would like to solemnly urge our writers and readers to engage with their school paper. Our staff consists of students from a wide variety of majors, from media studies to computer science, and despite our different fields of study, we can all of think of different ways the paper has played an important role in time here at USF. Engaging with on-campus, student-run media outlets is an important part of the college experience and we could only think of a very long list of reasons why.
Many of us on staff have noticed that, since joining the newspaper, we feel more engaged about culture, events, and politics not only on campus, but around San Francisco. The fact that the Foghorn is a student-run news outlet sets it apart from many of the other articles and videos you will normally see being shared on Facebook. In the era of Buzzfeedy articles being written and shared without hesitation, there is real value in concise, deep, thought-out writing that carries substance. It gives one the ability to peer into an incredibly unique window that other outlets simply do not offer: high-quality student perspectives on hotly debated topics in and around San Francisco. Not many other media platforms can provide this. From an even larger standpoint, the Foghorn can be seen as a sort of “self-checking” mechanism against the larger forces of the school. It keeps processes democratic and transparent.
As writers, we can attest that there is something very magical about seeing your own name and work in print. It encourages you to not only put out your best work, but to take pride in doing so. In fact, not all schools allow the opportunity for just any student to contribute to the paper. At San Jose State University students must take a specific class in order to be involved with the campus paper. Here at USF, the student newspaper is a very open, forgiving place to develop as a writer. It is a forum to express thoughts on issues and current events, as a much as it is a place to stay informed. The fact that we still have a circulated print edition of our campus paper is becoming an increasingly rare phenomena at universities and we appreciate this rarity.
Not only does working for and contributing to the paper help provide a well-balanced source for campus news and create discourse, it provides many important experiences for students interested in pursuing journalism as a career. By paying for an education at USF, we’re also paying for the campus experience. We would have never attended as many seminars or events or lectures or meetings without the initiative of writing something for the Foghorn. As a result, attending press conferences on sexual assault awareness on SF college campuses, senate meetings about organization budgets, multi-day conferences on the relationship between Islam and Catholicism, and so many more, we’ve broadened ourselves as individuals and students. The organization cannot simply be a handful of media studies kids running the paper every week. If more people with different backgrounds contributed, the Foghorn would become more relatable and representative pillar of the USF community.
Every USF student has a voice and a right to share that voice with those around them, and the school paper is a valuable resource where we can share our perspectives and insights with the students around us. Whether you like taking photos, writing editorials, covering news events, reviewing the newest movie, designing layout, or running a news website, we’re pretty sure everyone has something to contribute to the paper.