Over the decades, students have acquired considerable experience working with the university's student publications and have used that knowledge as professionals in the media and in other fields. Thousands of Southern University graduates have found fulfilling employment on publications, radio and television news rooms across the nation.
Purpose and Goals
The Southern University Office of Student Media Services is to guide and service its student journalist and campus community with quality publications for the purpose of enhancing the student experience while servicing the entire university through the production of a student newspaper (The Southern DIGEST), magazine (Ego) and yearbook (The Jaguar).
The DIGEST, a student newspaper published bi-weekly, Ego Magazine, a student magazine published 5 times per year, and The Jaguar Yearbook, a student yearbook published annually are financed through the student activity fee and its own advertising revenue. All publications are written and edited by students, and the views presented are those of the student staff members and do not necessarily reflect the policies of university administration.
The Office of Student Media Services provides the Southern University students, faculty, staff and community with specific services and outcomes, primarily:
- A learning and working environment that fosters the development of students' skills in journalism, leadership and time management, human relations, teamwork and fiscal responsibility in a product-oriented organizational setting that allows for high levels of interaction, cooperation and collaboration.
- The opportunity for students to learn and improve mass communication skills including writing, editing, photography, desktop publishing, layout and advertising design.
- The provision to the campus community of media as a forum of expression of opinions and comments in a free and open environment, the exchange of ideas, and the dissemination of information. This office fulfills a role critically essential to the health of a vibrant university in a democratic society.
- Support the students, and staff in their efforts to purchase and use computer hardware and software as related to computer-aided publishing.
- Serve as the primary university news source and to provide an accurate historical record of the major campus events of the year.
- Give student journalists an opportunity to travel and participate in professional conferences where they can learn from interaction with other student journalists and professionals.
- Develop and implement a recruiting plan to ensure that talented students continue to participate as staff members of each publication.
- Encourage student media editors and staff members to interact regularly with fellow students, especially through programs initiated within the university, so that editors might better accomplish their mission of providing timely news stories to their publics, the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the university.
- Give the student journalist an opportunity and environment where they can develop and produce a newspaper and yearbook of high quality.
- Give student journalist the opportunity to participate in clubs and organizations on an extra-curricular basis so that they might improve their journalistic skills and be afforded the opportunity to meet and interact with professionals already engaged in the field of print journalism.
- The Office of Student Media Services supports the mission and goals of the university with a vehicle to publicize activities and events of relevance to the university community. Student Media Services always to seek to defend the rights of student journalist relative to freedom of speech as stated in Article 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Students at Southern University are protected in their exercise of freedom of expression by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United State. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of the University Administration, Southern University, Board of Supervisors, Board of Regents, State of Louisiana and the Director of Student Media Services to ensure the maximum freedom of expression to all students in their roles as student journalist. As a result, students are responsible for the content of the newspaper, magazine, and yearbook.
As a forum for student expression on a wide variety of issues, including topics about which there may be dissent and controversy, each student publication should provide a full opportunity for students to inquire, question, and exchange ideas. Students are expected to abide by the commonly accepted legal and ethical standards of responsible journalism that includes nudity and obscene language.
Student publications shall serve both as forums for students' expressions and as laboratories for training in journalism. Further, student publications, in a effort to be among the first to report the news, should be accorded the usual privileges of covering news and gaining access to news from all sources on campus.