From the founding of this country, the news media has been heralded as a means to disseminate information to a multitude of readers. But one newspaper did not do the job for long. Competing publications sprang up as the American borders expanded, both to one-up those other publications and to fulfill the public’s desire for more than one source of news. In the same way, our campus, with its thousands of students and hundreds of faculty members, contains a great variety of opinions and perspectives. One publication, attempting to present news coverage relevant to all of the members of this campus community, would never suffice. This is the niche of alternative media, and this is where The Big Green establishes itself in a frenzied college atmosphere.
The idea for TBG began in early 2002 with the thoughts and dedication of journalism student Beth Desy. From there, TBG emerged in 2003 as a magazine accessible through allmsu.com, that familiar Web site used by students to praise and bash professors, warn others against taking certain courses and sell spare athletic tickets. It is difficult to imagine how TBG could have existed without its own site, and it is likely our increased exposure is directly correlated to our Internet move. Our magazine earned a personal URL in the fall of 2004, and soon transitioned from a weekly publication to a monthly magazine.
Our goals as a publication are extensive, but our first priority lies with our audience. The readers are what make TBG go ’round, and the readers are why we exist. As a staff, we try to put together feature stories that matter, about topics and subjects that might not get the glory from mainstream media coverage. Everybody knows who Drew Neitzel is, but what’s the story behind the intramural facilities on campus? Without top-of-the-line weight rooms and committed trainers, the major athletic teams could not prepare as well for competition. Most students hear about major protests on campus, fueled by strict political views or brimming controversy, but who are the people behind these protests? How does a protest come to fruition? Why do these people burn so passionately about an issue? TBG aims to go behind surface topics and answer questions about deeper issues. An unlimited Internet platform and an editing structure allowing for time and story cultivation enable this to happen.
Now, it is understood every issue of TBG is not going to be ground-breaking. We’re not going to uncover some major campus scandal or unearth a media gem in every issue. But we’re striving to create a credible, multi-faceted magazine, containing feature articles that are compelling, well-written and interesting. The reporters gather the information and work closely with editors; the editors reorganize, stylize and grammar-ize each story. The upper editorial staff polishes the pieces, clarifying and organizing, and then they edit the pieces again. The design staff tops off the pieces with photos and graphics, making each piece visually appealing and attention-catching. Our readership is increasing, and we’re gaining credibility within the campus arena as a legitimate publication with talented writers and motivated editors. But this progress isn’t causing us to plateau…we’re just getting started.