Points of View: Lariat’s new services are weapons in battle for better news

Linda Wilkins
Linda Wilkins
Lariat Editor-in-Chief

News can be a great sleep-inducer, especially when reading a news story leads you to ask, “Why do I care?”

Let me ask you this: Why DO you care? Why pick up a newspaper at all?

It could be that you’ve always read the paper, maybe even before articles could be read online. Perhaps you’re a student who’s required to read the paper for class. Maybe you’re a news junkie, like myself, who can’t get enough of what’s going on in the world.

Whatever your reasons – out of loyalty, for knowledge or to search for typos – you take part in one of the biggest industries in the world. You are the customer, and news agencies are the businesses.

Like any company, news agencies work for their consumers. That is why, here at the Lariat, we are making a few changes. We want to better provide service to our readers.

A journalist is obligated to investigate, write and inform the public of what is happening in our society. This is what a good journalist does. I’m aware that many people do not have a high regard for journalists. Like most businesses, it only takes one person or one mistake to ruin the experience and tear down any bridge of trust that exists between the consumer and the business.

At the beginning of the semester, I asked the staff why they were here. Why do we lose sleep in order to work for a college paper? Why do we oftentimes miss class in order to conduct interviews?

The answer? We want to serve, and our service is to the Baylor community and the surrounding areas. We want to provide news accurately and quickly. We consider it our duty to you, our reader, to seek out news, ask the questions you would ask and tell the story.

For the Lariat staff, our goal is to improve. We are students looking to gain experience as well as serve our community.

With this in mind, the Lariat has made a few changes in order to better communicate news.

One of the fastest ways to distribute news is through the use of social media. This semester, the Lariat added two new Twitter accounts for two sections at the Lariat – @BULariatArts, which is for the Arts & Entertainment section of the Lariat, and @LariatEditorial, which is the account for the opinion section. If you haven’t already done so, follow our other accounts @bulariat for mainly news and @BULariatSports. The purpose of these accounts is to provide readers interested in different sections of the paper the chance to follow those sections and receive more news than what might be in the printed paper.

Also watch for more activity on our Facebook page. We will be using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (@baylorlariat) to conduct polls, surveys and contests.

We are aware that at Baylor everyone is given an email address. We are utilizing this tool by creating an email newsletter you can receive for each day’s top headlines. This newsletter will be daily, and will include news, A&E, sports and video content. This is a simple way to get the top news for Baylor each day without searching for it online.

One major goal of the Lariat is to expand the services we offer. One such service is a blog. This semester, we are starting with two blogs, which will be maintained by two Baylor students. Tyler senior Taylor Griffin and Austin senior Ada Zhang will update their blogs “Give my Regards to Bear Country” and “Food&Feminism” on a weekly basis.

In an effort to be more transparent in our communication with the public, we are creating staff profile pages that will provide information on how to reach each member of the Lariat staff. In addition, we have added two new email accounts – LariatArts@baylor.edu and LariatSports@baylor.edu. Tips and questions can be sent to the Arts & Entertainment section and Sports section of the Lariat, respectively.

I encourage you to take advantage of these services. The staff will work to serve you, our reader. You hold us responsible.

Linda Wilkins is a senior journalism and religion double major from Tyrone, Ga. She is the editor in chief for The Baylor Lariat.