EDITORIAL: If you haven’t noticed…

Written by Jacque Flanagan

If you haven’t noticed…
We were placed in abeyance. A fancy word for suspension. Not a suspension-after-the-principal’s-office suspension but a suspended-in-the-air suspension or better said, Limbo.
Our “Limbo” state was brought on by higher education budgets cuts, our general operations and wages budgets were cut. Fortunately, our wages were reinstated by Provost/Chief Learning Officer Debra Curtis (insert clapping hands emoji here) in early August but our general operations funding is gone. That’s left us a paperless newspaper.
What impact does being a paperless newspaper have on us as a news outlet? I’m glad you asked – a lot, actually.
The abeyance inspired journalism faculty to launch a year-long “retooling” process, which includes a steering committee to assess the current education model of the Muleskinner and suggest improvements for the future. Part of our model is closely tied to the communication department’s digital journalism program, which allows us (editors) to work closely with students to get them real-world skill application.
Our reach goes beyond the J-program though. To give you some backstory, digitalBURG has been our community/campus online presence since 2006, before the Muleskinner was hosted on a separate platform, muleskinner.net, for UCM-related news. Community news primarily went on digitalBURG.com. We merged in 2015 because we were already the same staff and, as a publication, our mission and demographic (UCM and the surrounding community) didn’t change, just our goal. We wanted to be the Warrensburg community go-to news platform and more impressively, we wanted to be student-ran, as we are now.
After a few years, we deemed the merge successful and have moved on to bigger picture stuff… such as creating a two-tier media outlet with digitalBURG as the main online portal to our three media outlets – news, television and radio. This is where we are now; the past few months our new site has been under construction.
digitalBURG.com will soon launch as the communication department’s main web portal for student media. The Muleskinner will have a subsite of digitalBURG and operate as the main journalism outlet. CentralTV and the Beat, the department’s outlets for television and radio, work independently from the Muleskinner and will launch their sites once construction is finished.
And for those who haven’t noticed, we haven’t let the abeyance stop us. We’re all online at digitalBURG.com, baby. Plus, we’re still publishing the paper digitally through Issuu, an established digital publishing site. Issuu allows us to share the paper via embeds and links and includes features that let us tag people in our photos – with their social media handles – and embed videos into our paper. This is revolutionary Harry-Potter-kind-of-magic folks!
You’ve got a front-row seat, so interact with us, whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter @UCMMuleskinner, sharing our articles and issue each week or contributing.
We’re always looking for new photographers, illustrators/graphic designers and writers. I’m talking news writers, features and profile writers, and sports writers. Whatever your medium, we have something for you here in the newsroom. And we’re not limited to just the communication department. We’re a university paper built for and run by students. We are your paper, an outlet intended to provide accurate and ethically written information for the Warrensburg community.
Content meetings are 1 p.m. every Monday, except for holidays and solar eclipses, in Wood 312, and if you can’t make it, email us at [email protected]. We’re flexible.
If you’re a community member or faculty/staff and are interested, we love columns and Letters to the Editor. Submit by sending them to our email and include your name, title/position, and department or hometown.
So again, if you haven’t noticed, we’re making a contribution to society. You can too.