By Lukas Swarts
Many colleges and universities have their own school newspaper or magazine that they publish for students to read. Here at Rochester College, we have our own called Shield. Back in 2000, Lora Hutson and Rochester College founded Shield. Over the past 18 years, there have been many changes that have taken place. After reading this article, hopefully you will see how Shield has evolved, the additions that have taken place and the benefits of taking Shield as a class.
When Shield was first created, it started out as a newspaper, and there was a new issue that came out monthly, as opposed to now where there are two issues a semester. At first, not many took the class, and the original group was very small. However, after each semester, the staff grew larger and larger. In 2008, Shield transitioned from a newspaper, and created the first four-color magazine. They eventually created a website so students could read new or old issues online. Also, some of the articles that did not make the hard copy issues were posted online. When social media grew popular, Shield created social media accounts to keep students updated. Right now, Shield has accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and they also have a youtube channel named Shieldtv. Shield also hosts podcast where students talk about many different topics, and they also have videos casts. Just this year, Shield has introduced Shield Talks, which is another version of a podcast.
Shield has evolved as technology has changed throughout the years. When more students joined Shield, they were able to add different ideas to the way they did things. The addition of social media and a website allows students to be able to stay notified and informed of new issues that comes out. Some students prefer to read articles online as opposed to print. Social media outlets like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter allow students to see new articles posted online, upcoming activities and links to when new issues come out.
If you are a mass communication major, you are required to take Shield at least three times. However, you do not need to be a mass communication major to take Shield. Shield is open to all students who wish to take this class. There are many different positions that you can hold while taking Shield, including multiple editor positions. These include online editor, assistant online content editor, print editor, news and opinions editor, assistant news and opinions editor, sports editor, feature editor and activities director. You could be a creative director or assistant creative director as well. Other positions are social media manager and events and promotions. Lastly, if you choose not to apply for any of those positions, you can be a writer or a photographer.
If you decide to take Shield, there are many benefits that this class offers. If you land an editor position, you can earn scholarship money. All of us college students know how expensive college is with tuition and for those who live on campus as well, scholarships always help. Also, being an editor helps build your portfolio, which is beneficial when applying for jobs after graduation. For those who want to pursue a career in journalism, this class gives experience to write articles, how to interview people and how to edit your article.