Improving The Charger Bulletin and UNH

Matt DiGiovanni

Last week Joann and I met with President Kaplan and Karen Grava (the Director of Media Relations) and spoke over lunch about The Charger Bulletin and the university as a whole. For some time now, I’ve heard comments from people about the content, varying from the number of Associated Press articles to “why wasn’t this in this week’s paper?” and even “this other paper has (insert feature here), why don’t you?” I’m going to take this opportunity to grant a little insight into the process of creating each issue of The Charger Bulletin, and additionally, try to explain some new developments that I plan to better the paper as a whole, and then I will close by going into some of what I was told about for the future of the university.

First, let’s cover the use of Associated Press articles and coverage of national news in the paper. The Associated Press offers a service where other media outlets can pay a subscription fee in order to have permission to publish AP articles. In a perfect world, the community here at UNH would contribute so much content all on its own that Joann and I wouldn’t even have to consider publishing AP articles; however, there are weeks where the submissions are just too few to fill the entire paper. This is by no means saying that there aren’t A LOT of news stories at UNH, there are numerous stories, but keeping track of all of them and finding the written materials can be tricky, especially when trying to stay current and not miss our deadline.

I can thank Karen Grava for being incredibly proactive this year, and communicating with me constantly, both about general paper advice, and story ideas, but the transition away from AP articles will take some time. Figuring out precisely what the weekly schedule needs to look like for The Charger Bulletin in order to have a plethora of campus/university news ready to go by the time the next issue is being put together is a fair amount of work, and while I would love to have it planned perfectly in a week, that’s just not how things happen.

As far as national news in The Charger Bulletin goes, while I know that everyone can easily go online to their favorite news source, or even grab a copy of USA Today or The New York Times, there is, and always will be a place for student written national news articles in the paper. I hope to make The Charger Bulletin more student and university focused in the near future, but I think the paper would be lacking without any student written national news stories.

Ah, my favorite topic ever, the folks who ask why some news story wasn’t covered. There are some times where I am fully aware of an event or story, yet no matter how much I plead with people, I can’t find a single person willing to write about it. I’ll take responsibility for those cases because I had ample time to find a writer, but it didn’t pan out in the end. However, when someone contacts me 24 hours (or less) prior to an event and then is upset that there wasn’t an article, I can’t help but wonder what they expected me to do. Finding a staff member to head to an event takes time, and on short notice, it just will not happen. On the other hand, if I have a week’s notice, I’ll do the best I can. Finally, there is always the option to have someone who is intimately involved with the event write about it. Anyone can submit a story to The Charger Bulletin, so if you are interested in inserting a story, email us at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you letting you know if your topic is okay or not! We really do want to help the UNH community publicize their achievements.

Feature columns are probably my favorite part of The Charger Bulletin, because it is where those writers pick something that they are passionate about, and share that passion with the rest of the university. I can recall a specific critique from last year, where a student wanted more risqué features in the paper. Joann and I, as editors, are here to make the final decisions about the content that goes in the paper. If you have an idea for a feature and it happens to be a little risqué, the two of us will sit down and read it over and decide if it crosses the line or if it’s completely fine. The only way we can come to this decision is if something is actually submitted. If you want to be a feature columnist, email us or meet with us and let us know so we can discuss your options! I can’t help you if you talk to your friends and critique the paper, but never actually let any one at The Charger Bulletin know about it.

Now that I got that off my chest, let’s touch on some quick comments from the meeting with President Kaplan! While in the last few years, UNH has seen the Rec Center, Soundview Hall, and the Henry C. Lee building completed, as well as the renovations to Bartels Hall, we are now reaching the point where the university will be moving more to refine itself. With that in mind, one of the major goals of coming years will be to increase the interdisciplinary nature of UNH. A specific college that has already begun changes and will continue to change is the College of Business under its new dean Larry Flanagan. He is working to develop the CoB by seeking ACSB Accreditation and help to truly define its emphasis. One focus will be to strengthen the link between the College of Business and the College of Engineering (a specific example of increasing interdisciplinary studies at UNH). While changes like that don’t sound as exciting as, “there will be approximately 8,000 new buildings on campus (that figure may not be accurate),” it is the next step in the future of the University of New Haven and is crucial to its growth. Just to throw a little bit of building plans in the works, fundraising is in progress to build a new science building, and construction on the magnet campus will be starting soon!

Hopefully this editorial helped to give you our readers, a little insight into the process of producing The Charger Bulletin, and shows that we do hear about your critiques, but usually not first hand! If you have a suggestion for The Charger Bulletin, contact us directly so we don’t have to suffer listening to the butchered version of it fifth hand. Have a great week!