Written by Kevin Dunne. Media by Jessica Sturgeon.
On a particularly windy April 19th, a group of Greenville College students took a shuttler down to St. Louis. The group was composed of various members of the Papyrus staff, Vista staff, and digital media majors, as well as professors Deloy Cole and Jessa Wilcoxen. Our two major stops were at the Beacon and Riverfront Times, two different newspapers. As a journalist and co-editor of the Papyrus, I found the experience to be especially enlightening and informative.
The Beacon was an impressive and very professional looking building, and the folks there were very receptive. Born from the ashes of another newsroom, the Beacon was formed 5 years ago and consists of 20 staff members, 15 of which are journalists. The Editor, Margaret Wolf Freivogel, informed us that the Beacon was aimed at creating, “a better St. Louis powered by journalism” and sought to give residents a better, “understanding of the problems, opportunities, etc.” in the area. This means that the Beacon focuses on the arts, sciences, and political matters, both globally and locally, which I thought was interesting. The problem, which persists for any news organization, is that of originality. By relating issues, be they local or nation-wide, to the city, the Beacon has created a fresh and crisp perspective on matters. They also seek to go beyond the means of online journalism. Through e-books, reprints of online articles, various social media sites, the Missouri History Museum, and the radio, the Beacon has created a wide target audience. Further, Margaret Wolf Freivogel said that the audience they seek is, “psychographic over demographic,” meaning that the articles, at their core, are geared towards those who are concerned with the future of the St. Louis region.
Presentation Editor Brett Jones and Issues and Politics Editor Susan Hegger spoke to the group as well. They shared with the group interesting ways to share the news beyond the typical medium of text (ahem). It was great to hear the ins and outs from seasoned veterans in such a changing profession.
After an hour or so at the Beacon, we stopped at Chipotle for some grub. To quote Deloy, “Chipotle is the Apple of the food industry; everything is simple and upfront.” Mikey Ward, Andrew Baugh, and I ate our burritos and chatted about the housing lottery, the street musician playing Disney tunes on the flute by the door, and a hodgepodge of other topics. I left the restaurant wondering why we didn’t have at least one in town. The place is an absolute delight to eat at.
The Riverfront Times was snugly tucked away in The Loop and offered an interesting perspective on journalism and media. Tom Carlson, the Editorial Design Director for the paper, gave us a tour of the office and talked to us about how the paper functions. The main point of interest was the covers the RFT issues had. Each cover, most of which were designed by Carlson, were topographical, eye-catching, metaphoric, and humorous designs. Carlson also gave the group comments and critiques on the design formats of our various publications, which was insightful to hear from a professional. After that, we headed back home to the always welcoming Greenville College.
I, as well as the other members on the trip, learned a great deal about the aspects of journalism and digital media. It is my hope that we will be able to use this newfound knowledge to create a better and more interactive online experience. The members of the Vista and Papyrus learned a lot and hope to put this to good use. Throughout the semester, countless people have put in tremendous efforts to redesign the Papyrus and churn out articles on a weekly basis. These people are incredible, and without them my job would be a nightmare, but it isn’t. Look for these coming changes in articles to come, and, as always, if anybody reading this would like to submit an article, feel free to do so. Without the students, faculty, staff, and community members, the Papyrus wouldn’t be the Papyrus.