October 20, 2017
Writer: Dain Knudson
The Scroll, BYU-Idaho's student-run newspaper, is changing how it presents its content to reflect changes in the news industry. These changes are preparing students within the Scroll organization for their careers once their time at BYU-Idaho has concluded.
"We have changed how Scroll works by focusing on online first and the printed paper second," said Cinthya Rubio, editor in chief for the Scroll. "We realized that the news industry is focusing on online content first and our focus in Scroll for the last few semesters was on the printed version and then publishing on the website after. So the changes we are making switch the focus."
In addition to the increased emphasis on their online publication, the Scroll has also simplified their print edition to four sections—news, campus, feature, and opinion. A projects team also gathers exclusive Scroll content.
This shift comes at a time when audiences who were previously loyal to their Sunday paper are now finding their news from alternative sources. Rubio believes the Scroll's new focus will give its students a leg up after graduation.
"We are thinking the way that journalists think now. Today people are not looking to newspapers for their news, but are looking at their phones or computers," Rubio said.
The Scroll organization is overseen by a handful of faculty members, including Lane Williams, but they do their best to let the students make the decisions.
"As much as we can, we try to make the Scroll the students' product," Williams said.
Faculty advisors for the Scroll fulfill their role in teaching students about the organization, but Williams notes that it's really the students who shape each other along the way.
"We teach teamwork, dealing with deadlines, and difficult situations. We teach writing, editing, and clear thinking. Largely, this is done by students teaching students," Williams said. "I tell people the Scroll implemented much of the Learning Model long before there was a Learning Model."
Students at the Scroll realize they are receiving more than college credit for their work. They're receiving valuable, real-world experience.
"While working for Scroll I've been able to talk to real people, attend court cases, talk to the police department, etc.," said Victoria Owens, content manager at the Scroll. "I've been able to learn to write stories and have my work published."
Moving forward, Williams hopes the Scroll and the changes they are making can reflect its past innovations and pave a course for each student's future.
"The Scroll is the oldest student institution on campus, going back more than 100 years. We believe it serves a valuable function on campus through its news and opinions on topics such as the campus, local news, and religious freedom...but its most important function has always been training students for professional careers."