The Pulse: Where we’ve been and where we’re headed

By Sarah Stubbs

As I began to brainstorm topics for my weekly column, it occurred to me that not only was this my last editorial for the spring 2016 semester, but also that it would mark the half-way point in my collegiate career as editor of the Pulse.

With this I thought, what better way to end things other than a little reflecting on what the Pulse has accomplished this past year and what we aspire to do next year?

In February, Pulse design editor Tijana Raicevic, Pulse adviser Amy Rogan, and I traveled to Columbus for the Ohio Newspaper Association conference and awards ceremony where we picked up some hardware: 1st place in news coverage, 2nd place in opinion writing, 2nd place in photojournalism, and 2nd place in sports coverage.

Last year, the Pulse also earned 1st place in news coverage in the Hooper Collegiate Awards division B (institutions with student populations less than 10,000).

These awards were a nice reminder that our hard work has not gone unnoticed, but sitting through the conference and awards ceremonies and seeing what OSU, OU, Kent State, and the other big-name schools in journalism were doing was energizing and inspiring.

Tijana and I, along with the rest of the Pulse staff, are eager to grow the Pulse in print and online to keep OilerNation as informed as possible.

This past year we have been able to improve the Pulse in ways that have made it more accessible, readable, and relevant; however, we have much more ground to cover.

Thanks to Tijana’s expertise, the Pulse is much easier to read and is now overall more aesthetically pleasing than it used to be. Each week – Sunday through Tuesday – Tijana and I’s brainstorming spurs her creativity and as a result each new issue seems to be better than the last.

As for our story-telling, I’m proud of the ground the Pulse has managed to cover over the past two semesters. With the communication department being so small at UF, our Pulse staff is not huge. Still, though, we manage to report on the topics OilerNation needs to hear about. We broke news about the federal lawsuit, have been covering the security and police department hybrid conversion, and have written meaningful feature stories about extraordinary students and faculty at UF.

We also got our feet wet with political coverage this year by launching “Pulse on Politics” in the fall of 2015 — our weekly series usually written by political science major Ashley Summerfield. In addition to the stories we’ve been producing, we teamed up with UFTV this spring to host two student-led voter panels to create a space where students could openly and productively discuss political issues.

Moving into the fall semester, I’m eager to continue this political coverage. The Pulse will be leading the Findlay Media Network to host a mock election day sometime before the real election in hopes of getting students excited about the democratic process and helping them to become informed voters.

I love that because I am the editor of the Pulse, I’m privileged to have the means to be a thought leader on campus. I hope that with fair reporting and creative storytelling the Pulse will continue to serve the students, faculty, and staff in OilerNation.

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