Here we go again…

Heather Bryant / Editor-in -Chief
Aug. 30, 2011

A college newspaper is a fascinating creature. It’s very much like a college student, in that it has some experience and know-how under its belt. Sure, it has a lot left to learn, but it also has an independent spirit and a strong will that can’t be ignored. What I love most about campus newspapers is the enthusiasm and innovation that comes with its youth, a spirit that is all too often lost in larger newspapers.

Sometimes, The Sun Star has been considered merely a student paper, with a smile and a pat on the head. Sometimes, The Sun Star surprised people and itself, breaking national news, going after hard stories and even winning against “pro” papers in competitions.

However, The Sun Star will always be your paper and your voice. We will report the news you want to know and the news that you need to know.

It’s only fair that I introduce myself to you since we’re going to be working together over the next year. I’ve been at University of Alaska – Fairbanks (UAF) for five years and I truly love this community. The sheer amount of diversity and opportunity here inspires and invigorates me. I’m also almost embarrassingly enthusiastic about my job. I’m one of those people who believes in the power of good journalism. No society – neither your university, nor your international community – can function without information and facts. Every decision we make is based on the facts we have. The Sun Star is in the business of gathering and providing those facts to you.

If you also have a passion for the truth and good story telling, come and see me about how you can be directly involved with the Sun Star. We are always looking for people from a variety of backgrounds to help tell the stories of UAF. Don’t let the newspaper title fool you, we also have opportunities for people interested in video and audio as well. You are welcome to come by our weekly story meetings each Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Sun Star office.

More than any other type of paper, this may be the one time in your life when you have this much access to a newspaper’s staff. Please talk to us about what you want to read or what you hope to see happen in your paper.

The Sun Star office has an open door, usually literally. Feel free to come by and talk with us. We love hearing your news tips and story ideas. This year, we’ve incorporated a new feature into our website. On the home page, you’ll find the tab “Tell us a story.” This is where you can enter any story idea you may have and submit it to us. We’ll try our hardest to cover your suggestions whenever possible.

I also urge you to fill out our reader survey. A link is posted on our website. Give us your honest opinion. It’s easy to think about what you do or don’t like, but we can’t consider your opinions if we don’t know what they are.

When we cover something you have an opinion about, write us a letter. It’s your chance to add a new facet to the discussion. In the past, our Letters to the Editor section has often been empty. What a missed opportunity! Quality discussion comes from having a variety of perspectives and opinions, so add yours.

We have quite a few plans in store for this year, from covering the people and groups that make up our community to investigative pieces that examine how the university works and how well it works for you.

I’m more excited about this next year than any previous year of my college career. I think The Sun Star gets a little better every year, and I look forward to continuing that tradition this year for The Sun Star readers and UAF community.

Heather Bryant

The Sun Star

(907) 474-5078

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