To the Alumni, Faculty, Staff, and Students of Ohio Wesleyan University:
The Journalism program has a long, storied history and rich legacy on campus. The department’s newspaper, The Transcript, prides itself on being the oldest independent student newspaper in the nation, with its first publication dating back to 1867. As Journalism students, we have had the pleasure of studying and exploring the best practices for upholding our nation’s precious ideals of freedom of speech and expression.
In Ohio Wesleyan’s recent program review, however, it was decided that the Journalism major should be discontinued. While the Transcript editorial team understands the reasons for this decision, it is a devastating loss for our fellow students, alumni, and faculty. Yet these circumstances have only underscored to us the importance of finding a way to continue the Transcript’s rich heritage.
As Transcript editors, we would like to assure our community that we have been working hard on a plan for keeping this journalistic tradition alive. With the support of Professors Phokeng Dailey, Kyle McDaniel, and Zackariah Long, we have decided to reimagine The Transcript as an online student magazine that will publish a special themed issue at the end of each semester. While The Transcript will continue to post regular campus news to its site, this new model will support a greater variety of written and multimedia content from students with interests in Journalism, Communication, and other disciplines across campus. We will also continue our long-standing practice of editorial independence while still receiving support from Communication Department faculty.
The inaugural theme for the new Transcript in Spring 2021 will be “Social Justice at Ohio Wesleyan.” Our goal is to center historically marginalized voices on our campus and to feature perspectives on Social Justice from a diverse range of students, organizations, and academic programs. In light of this year’s momentous events, we feel this theme will be a fitting opening to this new chapter in The Transcript’s history.
We would like to thank our advisors for their guidance and support, alumni for their care and concern, and our fellow students for their flexibility and input. We hope that everyone finds the news that our student publication will not be going away reassuring. Lastly, we look forward to continuing to serve and work alongside each of you in the OWU community.
Claire Yetzer ’21 and Caitlin Jefferson ’22
One thought on “Announcement on the Future of The Transcript”
I remember the time when the “Transcript” appeared, in print, weekly and then later bi-weekly. Copies were eagerly snatched up and read. I still have some of the old articles on file. Over the decades, the “Transcript” made a valiant effort to inform, ask questions, and be a voice for the students. I lamented the gradual decline and obsolescence of the publication, which is now entirely online, and believe that defunding was in part a deliberate strategy by the university to control the narrative and to silence inconvenience viewpoints. I applaud the efforts of the current editors to continue the “Transcript’s” rich heritage. Coverage of campus news and local events is either sycophantic or non-existent in Delaware. More diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is urgently needed. (Tom Wolber, 11/22/20)
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