I often get asked if The Pleiad is still around.
This is a troubling question. Sure, I can romanticize the glory days when I was a first-year—back when stacks of papers hit the newsstands on Friday mornings and when issues were stuffed in hands, backpacks and scattered across tables on campus.
But the thing is, The Pleiad hasn’t disappeared. Rather, it has and is still evolving. Our goal this semester is to get the word out.
The fall 2009 transition from a weekly-printed publication to a solely-online edition has brought mixed reviews. But by using a virtual medium for reporting, students interested in journalism are being exposed to the demands of a rapidly-changing field that expects multimedia proficiency.
Instead of focusing on details like word count and page layout, Pleiad reporters now shoot video, live-blog, take photographs, and write articles simultaneously—with the ability to choose which method will best bring the news to our readers.
But little of that proficiency matters when first-years aren’t aware that Albion has a college newspaper, some upper classmen believe we closed our doors due to budget constraints and others just aren’t thrilled enough with the quality of content currently on our Web site.
While we can’t bring back The Pleiad in print, we can make our content both more engaging and accessible. Currently, www.albionpleiad.com is undergoing a face-lift, getting a layout redesign to address both navigability and aesthetics.
Also in the works is an opportunity to bring back the weekly edition of The Pleiad, right into our readers’ inboxes rather than tucked away in a link on Albion’s homepage. While our student-run site is updated almost daily with news updates, bringing the story to our audience via email once per week will be a friendly reminder that The Pleiad is still busy getting the facts, even though the presses stopped last spring.
One benefit of a cyber news source is that it is so easy to change. This flexibility is a tool I challenge you as readers to make the most of. Is our layout confusing? Would you like to see more videos, interactive media or investigative articles? Did we get it right? We can’t address concerns unless you bring them to our attention.
Let us know—anonymously or not. My KC box is 4441, and I’ll read printed stories slashed with red pen. Or embrace our new format, and shoot us an email: Pleiad@albion.edu.