Dear friends of Student Media,
We know this is a challenging time for you and our whole community. We also know that while we’re in the same storm, we’re not in the same boat. Yet, we are still connected and here, in Student Media, we are committed more than ever to our mission. That mission is three-fold: 1) to empower students 2) to provide valued sources of journalism and information, and 3) to encourage excellence, diversity, innovation and collaboration. We are here to serve our community and we are finding new ways to do that even in the midst of change and disruption.
We are strictly following the guidelines set forth by the university through their Flashes Safe Eight Principles. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our students, staff and community.
Here are a few things coming up:
• We will print four special editions of the Kent Stater this fall – Everything Kent, a Voter’s Guide, a Renter’s Guide and a Holiday Shopping Guide. Each will be focused on specific content but will have wide appeal across campus and in Kent.
• The newsroom will focus its daily reporting efforts on digital platforms, including KentWired, the shared website of The Kent Stater and TV2. In order to focus on digital reporting and due the challenges brought on by COVID-19 this fall, the Kent Stater will have four print issues, each one focusing on a special topic, such as a housing guide and a voter’s guide. We know this will help us continue reaching our audiences where they are. In the last three months alone, traffic at KentWired has increased by more than 100%, with an average of 38,000 unique visitors per month—during the summer! We expect traffic to continue to build on web and social media in the fall.
“While there won’t be a weekly printed edition of The Kent Stater, we will be working hard to produce consistent, high-quality content for our audiences,” said Lauren Sasala, fall Editor, The Kent Stater/KentWired. “We are in unpredictable times right now, and I feel confident in our team to concentrate on our digital platform to ensure we deliver valuable information no matter what. It’s an exciting opportunity for growth and one I am looking forward to.”
• We will launch a new mobile app that will help us connect with our mobile users in high numbers and more effectively than we do now.
• We will upgrade our current weekly e-newsletter and will be adding two new targeted e-newsletters. The first, in partnership with A Magazine, will focus on fashion, beauty and style. The second, in partnership with Uhuru Magazine, will explore issues important to minority communities.
• Our magazine partners will reach audiences in new ways online via current and new social media channels and their websites. They all plan to produce printed magazines for distribution in fall and spring. The spring 2020 magazines, which were completed and published digitally, have been printed and distributed to campus.
• Our broadcast partners are adapting to the changes and will return with programming in early fall semester. In addition, they too will continue finding new ways to reach audiences on digital platforms.
• KSUIF is readying plans to do production work on new initiatives in line with university protocols and film industry safety standards set up during this time.
• Finally, our sales and marketing teams are committed more than ever to building reach and revenue in support of our Media Partners and our overall mission.
For most of our students, this is the first major storm of their lives. What they’ve shown us is that they are naturals when it comes to crisis management, adaptation and innovation. Their resilience, commitment to their vision and audiences, and overall get-it-done attitude has inspired.
If you would like to make a donation in support of Student Media at Kent Stater, please click here. Any amount is welcome and you may direct your gift to the Student Media group of your choice.
With students like these, and support from our community friends, Kent State Student Media is stronger than ever.
Director of Student Media