I don’t know whether this is a measure of how often I change jobs or how long I’ve been blogging, but this is the fourth new job I’ve announced on this blog that’s less than seven years old. But it’s the first new job that doesn’t involve changing employers.
I start work right away as Director of Student Media for LSU. When I came here almost a year ago, I was accepting a one-year job as Lamar Family Visiting Scholar. But Dean Jerry Ceppos and I were always interested in exploring long-term opportunities. This one looks like an excellent fit. Thanks to Jerry for another excellent opportunity, and to the search committee and faculty who aided in this decision.
Student media face many of the same challenges I’ve helped professional media address for the last decade and more in various positions: Developing new revenue streams; developing new products; finding, adjusting and maintaining the right mix of digital and legacy media. And it involves additional challenges I’ve enjoyed in the past year: Teaching and preparing students for media careers.
I think and hope that I am well-prepared for these challenges. But I expect to learn a lot more about LSU’s Student Media operations in the next few weeks before the retirement of my friend and predecessor and the incumbent until he leaves, Bob Ritter. And maybe I’ll learn more by phone, email or over lunch after he retires. I also expect to learn a lot from the professional staff of student media and from the student leaders.
I come into the job with student media experience going back to 1972, when I wrote my first stories for the Daily Skiff, student newspaper at TCU, when I was a freshman. I later became editor of the Skiff for the spring semesters of 1975 (yes, 40 years ago) and 1976, and also worked briefly for KTCU, the student radio station, and Image, the student magazine. All three products continue today, along with several more. More recently, I have consulted with TCU and several other university student media operations as they seek to transform for the digital age, the very challenges LSU student media face. I’ve been a speaker at seminars for student media leaders hosted by Iowa State University and the University of Georgia, as well as conferences of the College Media Advisers/Associated Collegiate Press and Western Association of University Publication Managers. And I think my extensive experience in professional journalism as well as my teaching experience will be valuable in this job.
For all that experience, I’m still learning, and I’m interested in learning from you. If you’ve been involved in student media, what have you learned from your successes and mistakes? How do you think someone in my position should guide student media through the changing media landscape? What are some goals we should pursue, some traps we should avoid?
My blog posts on student media
I’ll be blogging a lot about student media in the coming months and years. Here are some things I’ve already written on the topic: