NewsNet open to student critics and questions

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If you ever mocked a story written in The Daily Universe because you thought it was a bad story idea or too poorly written to be taken seriously, now is your time to speak up.

The Daily Universe and the NewsNet staff are giving students the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns regarding BYU”s student-run newspaper.

Jillian Doria, a print journalism major from Provo, is chapter president of BYU”s Society of Professional Journalists.

“Each year we are required to do a service project as part of the Society of Professional Journalists,” Doria said. “This year we”ve decided to have a panel discussion for student input. It”s called Project Watchdog.”

The panel will be held Tuesday, Mar. 9, at noon in the Wilkinson Student Center Terrace. All students are invited to participate.

Doria said eight people will be on the panel, consisting mainly of editors for the newspaper.

“Project Watchdog is a service project aimed to help the BYU community and its readers,” she said.

She said the purpose of the panel is to get feedback from students. They can share their concerns or give ideas they would like to see regarding the newspaper.

“It”s a way to ask if The Daily Universe is serving its readers and how they are covering important issues,” Doria said.

Robb Hicken, managing director-print NewsNet, has worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in California, Nevada and Idaho for the past 25 years.

“[The purpose of the panel is for] better understanding by students of what it takes to put together The Daily Universe,” Hicken said.

This will also be a way for the editors to tell the students what they do, Doria said. Editors will be able to tell a little about their roles and involvement with the newspaper.

“Such things as what goes on the front page and why will be addressed,” Doria said.

Panel members will also address common issues dealing with The Daily Universe, she said.

Hicken said he hopes students will take the panel discussion seriously.

“The discussion will hopefully stimulate some tough questions,” he said.

Doria said student feedback will be used to try to improve the content of the newspaper and the newspaper in general.

“This will be a good opportunity for the students; it can help them get involved in their newspaper,” she said.

Reza Ghazi-Moradi, a 24-year-old student from Bakersfield, Calif., said he reads the paper everyday.

“I think a panel discussion is a great idea,” he said. “The editors should know how the students feel about our paper. The editors need to get a broader prospective on student opinions.”

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