Staff report: newspaper celebrates 85 years of publishing

The Flor-Ala Staff

The Flor-Ala has reached a milestone accomplishment in a world where many newspapers are ending due to budget cuts and low revenue.

The 2016-17 year marks 85 years of printing within the ever-changing staffs of the organization.

The content of the paper has changed significantly through the years.

“In reviewing The Flor-Ala archives back to the 1930s, it struck me that while each year’s staff was reporting on the most current issues, they were unintentionally creating a valuable history of the university,” said Student Media Adviser Scott Morris. “It’s also interesting to see major national and international events through the eyes of students as they lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights movement, the turmoil of the 1960s and into the modern era.”

The goals of the reporters were also different in the beginning, Morris said.

“The reporting evolved through the decades from what appeared to be a mission to primarily please college officials to providing a voice for students,” he said.

Even advertising has changed, he said.

“There was a time when The Flor-Ala depended heavily on advertising from tobacco companies,” Morris said. “The newspaper also enjoyed great local support from businesses like the former Rogers and Abroms department stores.”

Like recent staffs, the 2016-17 staff has goals that correlate to more modern newspaper standards.

“We feel our job is to get the truth out there and either write about what students are discussing or what they need to discuss,” said Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Fleming. “We want to be a trusted source of news that sparks discussion and encourages readers to be an informed part of the campus community.”

News Editor Kaitlyn Davis also has goals for this year’s interaction between the paper and its readers.

“I would like to see the paper recognized more for the invaluable role it plays in our campus and community,” she said. “I also hope to strengthen our relationship with the student body. We always take students’ opinions and ideas into consideration because we want to write material they want to read.”

Life Editor Monday Sanderson said working with The Flor-Ala has changed her perspective on the role of news media.

“Over time, I’ve realized how important a newspaper is to the community,” she said. “Before I started writing, I never paid attention to the newspaper. Now, I see how many people actually focus on the stories we bring to their attention.”

Graphic Designer Michael Meigs said he is proud of the 85-year milestone.

“I am so glad that students and even local people are still interested in The Flor-Ala and talk about it,” he said. “It has gone through many changes which I believe have truly helped it to succeed.”