After 19 years of hard work from the university community, our printer, mailing services, couriers and the News and Media Relations staff, this marks the final print edition of MTSU’s official publication, The Record.
The first edition, on Jan. 15, 1993, replaced a university newsletter, “In the Public Eye,” and featured a front-page photo of Ron Malone, then assistant director of admissions, helping a senior register for spring classes.
Some things don’t change, except for the titles. Right, Ron?
It was a four-page weekly then, and Dot Harrison, MTSU PR director, wrote in a “For the Record” note that “with the addition of a digital scanner, we’re pleased to add photos!”
Now the printed Record is filled with photos, in color, and on the Internet for a worldwide audience. It’s updated as news breaks, and it continues to focus on the people, places and events that make MTSU outstanding.
Economic reality has made it clear, however, that the state funds that print and deliver this publication can be better used in getting more news to more people, more often, than eight pages, twice a month, have ever been able to do.
That doesn’t mean we don’t value print readers. I’m still one! (I don’t have an e-reader; I love ink and paper.) But we do have to move forward, to change and save money, too.
I joked the other day that “the third time’s the charm,” since this makes the third newspaper that’s folded under me since I graduated from MTSU’s then-Department of Mass Communication and started working for the Nashville Banner. I’d previously interned for The Morning Press, the daily incarnation of The Murfreesboro Press, which also closed after a strong run.
My training at MTSU began by handing typewritten copy to a typesetter, but it changed at an almost blinding rate to using a computer for desktop publishing and researching stories. My tools have changed from darkroom chemicals to Photoshop, from creaky old acoustic couplers to smart phones and RSS feeds. My proofreading now includes HTML.
In the process, I’ve developed skills I never anticipated. That’s what MTSU trained me to do, and that’s what students in the College of Mass Communication are learning today: Be flexible as newspeople, and always learn from and embrace change.
Join us as MTSU takes another leap, changing and expanding the university’s news offerings with video, audio, slide shows and text at www.mtsunews.com. We hope it’s already your multimedia home for MTSU news, and we look forward to continuing to give our audience more great University stories. That’s another thing that won’t change.
The late great Dot Harrison will always be right on the money, too.
“The MTSU campus is, we believe, an extraordinary place with extraordinarily competent and dedicated people at every level,” she wrote in that first Record. “We’re on the brink of greatness.”
— Gina E. Fann (gfann@ mtsu.edu)