Every time a student, graduate, faculty, or staff member picks up the latest copy of The Hill News, investigates an underreported story for the Weave News blog, or tunes into a favorite KSLU radio show, they’re participating in a longstanding tradition of student media at St. Lawrence University.
Today, most of the students behind these outlets can’t be on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped sharing. Instead, they’ve moved quickly to adapt to present circumstances, understand the current moment, and keep the wider campus community informed, aware, engaged, and entertained.
“All the news we have now revolves around this one issue,” says James Lehner ‘20, current managing editor of The Hill News and a government major and English minor from Boxborough, Massachusetts. “Typically, we hope to connect people on campus to different stories in our community, but now, we’re connecting different experiences of the same story.”
James says that The Hill’s digital capabilities play an essential role in their ongoing coverage and allow them to keep sharing content despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic halted the publication of a physical paper right before their annual April Fool’s issue.
“We still have things to publish, and there’s still a conversation going on,” says James. “We’re going to maintain our connection with our community as best as we can.”
St. Lawrence empowers its students to lean into their curiosity and harness their creativity to investigate challenges, keep one another informed, and bond over shared experiences. While the student newspaper has pivoted to a more digital-first approach to reach their audience and gauge the climate of the now-remote campus community, other outlets are working on new projects or experimenting with alternative platforms to make connections.