Gareth Jones, sabvc.ca
In the modern day, print media is on the decline. It has been, in fact, for quite some time. The ubiquity of smartphones, and therefore the internet, has caused the daily newspaper in particular to fall out of favour. For years, though, the daily newspaper served as a uniting force. Simply put, it was the only way for people to get their news. That’s not to say that people don’t still read the news. In fact, one has more different publications vying for their attention than ever before.
In order to survive, a publication must fill a niche. The publication must provide something for its readers that they can’t get anywhere else. Targeting a certain demographic, such as those who lean politically left, or students of a certain post-secondary institution, has proven successful. Over the years, local publications filling many niches have gone from humble beginnings to circulation in the thousands. Notable on this list are student newspapers.
Student newspapers are generally run by students for students, allowing eager novice journalists to look into the issues and events that concern their fellow students. Some of the longest-running student newspapers in Canada have begun in Alberta, such as the University of Alberta’s Gateway, founded in 1910, or The Emery Weal, founded in 1926 by SAIT students.
The Emery Weal, more commonly just The Weal, begun as a single issue, four-page bulletin highlighting school events. Today, The Weal is a monthly magazine, publishing every issue digitally as well. Operated at the highest level by the SAIT Students’ Association, it serves as a talking point for SAIT students, highlighting campus events and issues.
Bow Valley College does not have a student newspaper, though there exists the framework for one to be founded. If begun as a club through SABVC, founding students would have access to funds for promotional purposes and the ability to print out physical copy. This is an opportunity for individuals with a passion for writing, graphic design, editing, photography and art to have their work showcased.
Though a SABVC newspaper would likely have to start small, it would have the opportunity to grow over the years and have a palpable effect on the student population.