A letter from the adviser

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By: Dr. James Carviou

My name is Dr. James Carviou, and I am serving as the adviser for Griffon News this year. This comes after six years of advising experience with The Griffon, Missouri Western’s school yearbook. Ever since I can remember I have had an affinity for journalism and the power of storytelling. I remember watching the news with my parents when I was five years old and asking questions about the First Gulf War or begging to stay up late on a Friday night to watch the latest episode of 20/20. Journalism is the heart and soul of who I am and I couldn’t imagine being more passionate about anything else. 

I landed my first internship at my local newspaper, EagleHerald, when I was in high school and then went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I liked it so much that I stayed for my master’s degree in media studies and then decided to pursue becoming a journalism professor which led me to a complete doctorate degree in mass communication from the University of Iowa. This eventually led me to being hired at MWSU to teach in the convergent journalism program. 

My unique role as a college media adviser involves mentorship, budgeting, payroll, structural organization and more. I am here to aid the editors for support and assistance with quality control. This does not mean that mistakes will not happen because they surely will. It also doesn’t mean that I review content before publication or dictate any content at all. Instead, the student editors of Griffon News are the facilitators and creators of the content. I will assist them whenever necessary and called upon to aid them in the production of the best content possible. I also will call them out when I feel they are putting out content that falls below journalistic standards. Just like what happens when journalists make mistakes, they will be responsible for owning up to them, learning from them and moving forward.

I am immensely excited over the momentum I have seen by Zoe Jones over the course of this past summer and into the fall 2019 school year. This group of students has a strong passion for the core principles of journalism and, as a result, stand by their fellow Griffon colleagues in the content they produce. That is why Griffon News is not only 100% student-run, it also represents the voice of the students. This is a voice that is dynamically engaging but purposefully constructed to be representative of the accountability MWSU students would like to see brought forth by their university. 

The Student Press Law Center has declared 2019 the year of the student journalist and, by virtue of that sentiment, I would like to declare the 2019/2020 school year at MWSU the year of the digital student journalist. Not only are students in our program getting the most cutting edge education across platforms around, they are achieving greatness through leading our publications into the 21st century and connected to a wide-ranging audience that is not limited to the geographic land mass of MWSU. 

One thing that keeps me up at night is thinking of the future and the potential threat to many of the freedoms we enjoy in the United States. I am reassured each day when I come in and work with students at MWSU that are engaged as truth tellers and change makers on our campus and beyond. This gives me hope that the press will continue to serve the important role of the fourth estate and this next generation of journalists coming up are ready to fight for their First Amendment right to inform the public they serve.