There are many things that went wrong with Rolling Stone’s University of Virginia sexual assault article. As the mainstream news-cycle seems to have moved past both the tragic story and tragic outcome, we at The Badger Herald can focus on one key takeaway: transparency in the newsroom leads to stronger journalism.
It is The Badger Herald’s tradition to be somewhat untraditional. Forty-five years ago our organization was charged with a mission: to be an experiment and end a journalistic monopoly on campus. Today, having broken the Daily Cardinal’s monopoly long ago, we put our energy and drive behind being an innovative source of student media at the University of Wisconsin.
As with all experiments, the Herald pushes boundaries with process. Our editors, management, advertising team, business managers and brand ambassadors all function with the core understanding that all trials take research, deliberation and analysis.
In an effort to make this internal process, and all other endeavors at The Badger Herald more transparent, this semester we are announcing our blog: experiment.badgerherald.com.
Whether a post in how our marketing team gets out our products, or how our editorial team develops the story, photos and graphics for our newly instated features page, content on experiment.badgerherald.com describes how The Badger Herald breathes. In doing so, we hope we can be publicly held accountable by our readership.
This is one step of many that will be taken this semester in an effort to make The Badger Herald more transparent — currently our web department is working tirelessly in preparation of open sourcing all of our code. More on that will soon be on our blog.
The Badger Herald, as with many facets of student journalism, is a learning institution. Together, we strive to better one another and the products we produce. We encourage all students interested in getting involved with our content and process to get in touch.
Over the past few months, I have received several phone calls from student editors around the country interested in how the Herald accomplishes what it does. The answer: We are an organization unaffiliated with the university. Our business, advertising, marketing and editorial departments are fully and wholly managed by students. We are willing to take calculated risks in our mission to provide quality, informative and interesting content for the university community. This year we hope to make that process even more open.
Happy 2015, it’s time for another experiment.
Tara Golshan ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in journalism and international studies with a certificate in French.