Editor bids farewell to newspaper, campus

With the onset of finals comes the end of the semester and my editorship, and I consider myself lucky to have been a part of The Sunflower News.

During my time leading the newspaper, positive steps have been taken in regard to the quality of the newspaper.

The newspaper has grown from a smaller, tabloid-sized newspaper to the current broadsheet format, which brings The Sunflower News in line with other newspapers at major Kansas colleges, and there has been the addition of a special, niche publication every Thursday.

Such format changes and new products must be credited to a stellar and dedicated staff of student journalists who have helped make Wichita State’s newspaper the best it can be.

Also, at the only journalistic contest The Sunflower News enters, the staff competed against other four-year, Kansas universities and won a total of 23 awards in a variety of categories, one of which was an overall silver award in the newspaper category.

The Sunflower News is a vital part of WSU, and Shockers know they can turn to it for news and information.

It is the unrelenting voice of the student body. It provides valuable coverage of events and happenings important to students, and there are the games and puzzles that some people utilize during lecture-hall classes.

The public forum of a student newspaper has a lot to offer anyone part of a campus community. For me, however, it offered even more — a chance to get a jump start on my career.

Journalism is incredibly important in my life. It is what I live for, and I enjoy every second of it, even when I am frantically battling deadlines.

Journalism gives me a rush that is incomparable, but why did I choose journalism?

I always explain that my love affair with the media world probably started because of smoking.

I helped deliver a weekly advertising publication when I was younger, and one night my friend and I finished with extra copies. We couldn’t return them, so we decided to burn them.

As we did so, I pretended to smoke one like a cigar, and I accidentally inhaled. In my naiveté, I panicked because I thought I would become addicted to smoking.

Obviously, that is not how the habit works, but I like to tell people I am addicted to journalism because of that night.

I tell that story often because I think it is funny, but all joking aside, I am addicted to journalism because of the enormous good it can do the population at large.

Few other careers allow a single person to touch the lives of so many others. The power of the written word is great, and with the advances in online technologies, more people can be reached in a variety of mediums all in one place in a manner that only a Web site can offer.

Thinking back about my time at The Sunflower News and at WSU brings a smile to my face.

The newspaper has been very interesting, fun and educational, and I have enjoyed attending classes on such a picturesque campus.

I wish The Sunflower News’ new management staff good luck in the coming year. No matter what, it will be an interesting time because of the importance of journalism.

Our country’s founding fathers and the creators of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution understood the importance of journalism and free speech.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

I share Jefferson’s beliefs, and that is why I am so passionate about journalism.

It is vital to any community, and The Sunflower News has and will continue to serve the WSU community in the best way possible.

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About toddvogts 843 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at twitter.com/toddvogts or via his website at www.toddvogts.com.