Let Flagler students’ voices be heard

By Cal Colgan | jcolgan@flagler.edu

Are you tired of seeing the same stories in your student newspaper month after month that you still don’t want to read?

Well, so are we. All of you information hounds at Flagler can rest easy because The Gargoyle is under new management. And we are determined to provide you with informative, educational and interesting news.

The increasing demands of the Digital Age have prompted us to go mostly online. But this gives us the advantage of providing frequently updated versions of ongoing stories and a flow of multimedia content relevant to you, our readers.

One important change with the content is the increased focus on local, county, and state issues. We at the Gargoyle realize that you readers aren’t part of an isolated planet where you are only concerned with things happening within the dorms, classrooms, and breezeways of Flagler College. Expect hard news pieces on issues related specifically to St. Augustine, the St. Johns County area or to Florida in general.

And hard news just wouldn’t be as interesting without some muckraking articles about the less-than-upstanding practices of St. Augustine’s prominent players. Whenever possible, we’ll include investigative reports of individuals and corporate entities that aren’t living up to the standards of civil society. Since such articles are about holding their subjects to a set of principles, we promise to abide by the Society for Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. Particularly important to us are the guidelines that encompass “seeking the truth and reporting it” and “acting independently” of outside influence.

Of course, we realize that as Flagler students, you’re primarily concerned about things happening at the college. That’s why our campus news section, under the command of our new section editor, Caroline Young, will focus on college-related news that is interesting and important to the student body. The campus section will include coverage of club activities, social events, Faculty Senate meetings, and the scoop on any new staff member or administrative policy.

Those who are satiated by a good feature story will be happy to know that we’re including more human interest pieces to satisfy your thirst. On our website, you’ll find profiles of people who have accomplished intriguing or seemingly impossible tasks. Some of these people might be local “celebrities” here in St. Augustine, while others might be less known. But our feature stories will be sure to spark discussion, whether they’re about local St. Augustinians, your professors, or even your fellow students.

Another major change to the content will be a revamping of the opinion section. Previously, our opinion columns were mostly limited to casual observations about everyday things or about the author’s recent trip to a theme park or the tourist district of a foreign country. This year, the section has been taken over by yours truly, and I promise to fill it with articles that raise awareness to important issues and that will definitely ignite debate. But the opinion section is not reserved to me alone. Anyone willing to support their views with facts, especially those who disagree with me, are welcome to contribute.

But The Gargoyle is not just an outlet for informative news. We are also giving our arts and entertainment section a much needed make-over. Under the leadership of section editor Ben McLeod, A&E writers will be going to wherever the St. Augustine music scene is, whether it be hip hop and dance music under the flashing lights of night clubs or the angry growls of a metal band within the cigarette-stained walls of a bar venue. Our movie critics will give professional and educated critiques of what’s new on the silver screen, and our book, CD, and magazine reviews will give in-depth explanations of what to expect.

For you athletes, rest assured: the sports section is back and better than ever. Manned by our own Louis Thompson, the sports section will certainly cover the basics of the last game, race, or event, and there’ll be plenty of surfing coverage as well. But we’ll also report about little-known athletic activities that are still exciting. From parkour to bike parades, you’ll read about sports that range from the kooky to those that test the limits of physical endurance.

Completely new to The Gargoyle is our literature corner, where those writers who aren’t as enthusiastic about journalism as we are can submit their work. From poems to short stories to witty rants, all those who wish to publish their work should feel free to contribute.

Our multimedia features will allow us to produce more content to accompany our stories, such as slideshows, video interviews, and quality photographs. The Noisemakers interviews will return this year, as well as The State of Society podcast debates. We will even include cartoons that comment on political and topical issues.

These are just a fraction of the ideas whirling around in our heads for this year. We want to hear from you. After all, The Gargoyle is your student newspaper, so your contributions, criticisms, and opinions count the most.

Be sure to give us your input throughout this school year and we will try our best to give you news that is worth reading. The press is supposed to be a democratic institution, and for democracy to work, people need to participate.
Keep that in mind, folks, and it should be an excellent year.

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