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COC's Canyon Call to be greatly missed

Posted: August 25, 2009 6:31 p.m.
Updated: August 26, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Sadness and disappointment are the words that best describe my reaction to the news of the imminent demise of the Canyon Call ("Student newspaper classes cancelled at COC," The Signal, Aug. 9), the venerable student newspaper at College of the Canyons.

I served as sports editor of the Canyon Call for three semesters in 2004-05.

The quality of COC's journalism program and the experience I gained as a reporter, page designer and columnist at the Call afforded me the tools to navigate a two-year stint as a sports writer at The Signal.

For those who have never worked on a school paper, here's some insight into life at the Canyon Call.

The process was less about getting a byline and more about learning and embracing the importance of working as a team, building relationships, practicing proper ethics and hitting deadlines.

Those are qualities that serve students once they leave the safety and security of college life for the real world.

I understand low enrollment in journalism classes that support the newspaper is what's driving the decision by administrators to pull the plug.

Given the college's large student population, it's puzzling that so few students would sign up.

Trying to figure out why almost seems irrelevant at this point, but my sense is there is generally little emphasis placed on writing skills other than basic English at high school level and, consequently, many students aren't prepared to make such a leap.

Maybe it's that the business of gathering news is hard work and most kids today don't know the meaning of the phrase and want their rewards to come the easy way.

What's more, I have a sense that school administrators either fear student papers or would rather not have the annoyance.

It's all anybody's guess, but this much is certain: As difficult as it is to quantify the value of the Canyon Call to the college and its student body, its loss will be immeasurable.


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