Central Oregon Community College’s student-run newspaper, The Broadside, recently received approval from college administrators to continue its publishing operations following a successful relaunch and two-year trial period.
Having shuttered in 2018 due to waning student participation and readership, the long-running student paper — first published in 1952 — underwent a series of changes at the recommendation of a COCC task force, relaunching two years ago with a digital-only format.
Other changes included mandating a publications class for student staff and hiring an advisor who specializes in digital news platforms, which all lead the paper to successful results in participation, content generation and readership.
Seth Moot, editor-in-chief of The Broadside, was excited by the outcome for his staff and for future student journalists and photographers.
“Our team worked really hard to keep this going and I am very glad that the college has decided to keep The Broadside,” he said.
Maintaining a staff of seven to 10 students per term, The Broadside employs an editor, reporters, photographers, freelance journalists and has included a social media reporter and a podcast host.
“The Broadside far surpassed our defined metrics for success — and that’s great news for our current and future students, as well as for journalism in general,” said Alicia Moore, COCC’s vice president of student affairs. “We’re excited for this learning opportunity to continue at COCC, and for journalism to score a small victory at a time when so many news outlets are disappearing.”
According to a report last year by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a quarter of all U.S. newspapers have folded in the past 15 years, brought on by a shifting media landscape, mergers, the Great Recession and now the economic impact of the pandemic.