'Wildcat' needs more local articles


At the height of the Haiti hullabaloo the weekend of Sept. 15, I picked up every newspaper I could to read the news stories of the American so-called peaceful occupation of that island nation.

Imagine my surprise when I picked up the Arizona Daily Wildcat last week and the front page contained an Associated Press story I had read earlier in the Arizona Daily Star.

The Wildcat has been running an abundance of AP stories lately and I am curious as to the reasoning behind such motivation.

We can obtain information from the Star, the Tucson Citizen and the New York Times (all AP subscribers) about high profile national events without seeing them duplicated in the Wildcat.

Rather, the Wildcat should mainly be concerned with current events of the University of Arizona campus rather than stuffing precious page space with filler material best seen on the pages of true daily newspapers.

In the Aug. 6 edition of Editor & Publisher magazine Dirk Allen, opinion page editor of the Journal News in Hamilton, Ohio, wrote in his letter to the editor,"College newspapers are teaching tools, proving grounds for would-be journalists."

The Wildcat has a responsibility to its community to exhaust every resource within the realm of this university.

In case anyone hasn't noticed the journalism department has its neck stuck out on the chopping block and the axe held by the Arizona Board of Regents could strike at any time. This threatened department is full of "would-be" journalists anxious to strut their stuff, if given the chance.

The university has journalism professors who read the Wildcat and wonder why more journalism students aren't participating in their school newspaper. These same professors would do anything to help their students see their own byline once in a while.

Why? Because journalists' futures are the stuff clippings are made of.

That's why.

Allen also said in his letter that experience is perhaps the greatest teacher and through maturity we learn to prepare for life's lessons as we gain perspective, common sense and the ability to edit ourselves.

"Preparing for those lessons is a never-ending cycle at the college level as new students keep stepping into the fray," Allen said.

I think you'd be surprised at how many journalism students want to step "into the fray."

Charles Ratliff

Journalism Grad Student

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