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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Staff Editorial

New Center for Student Media presents new opportunities


The Daily Cougar, Student Video Network and Coog Radio have worked to bring you the news and features that are fit to print, watch and hear, and we have been doing so while provideding our own product with little or no collaboration with the other media organizations.

That is about to change.

By Sept. 1, the three student media organizations will merge under the Center for Student Media and open new doors for the way media is produced and presented on campus. In December, CSM will move into the new Student Media wing of the new UC North building.

While the new CSM will bring the organizations together, they will maintain separate product identities and internal structures. Matt Dulin, director of Student Publications and the soon-to-be CSM described some of the possibilities convergence will bring.

“Right now, The Daily Cougar needs help with video,” Dulin said. “SVN could provide support to that until The Daily Cougar is confident enough to have its own video and could go out and do it on its own. On the other side, Coog Radio wants to get their blog going and have music reviews and local culture stories. They want to have their own style of journalism, and The Daily Cougar knows about that and people who work for the Cougar may be interested in that.”

At The Cougar, we are excited at the opportunities this will provide and are eager to begin collaborating with our future partners. For starters, the advertising functions Student Publications provides to The Cougar will also be provided to SVN and Coog Radio, allowing both organizations to obtain additional funds to further their growth.

Clinton Blankenship, the station director of Coog Radio, said he sees advertising as a means for Coog Radio to grow and gain professional experience.

“We are currently only funded from student fees,” he said. “This could lead us to a model very similar to The Daily Cougar with advertising, which could free us a bit. It would also give students real world experience as advertising is a common necessity in the professional world.

“Coog Radio has steadily grown since our debut. CSM will allow for more exposure and collaboration from fellow media groups.”

Exposure is something SVN President Ali Iqbal hopes to gain from the transition.

“SVN hopes to gain better recognition on campus as a result of the merger,” Iqbal said. “Currently, as a part of CSI (Center for Student Involvement), SVN is overshadowed by special event programming organizations like SPB (Student Program Board) and Frontier Fiesta. Being a part of the Center for Student Media would help shed more light on SVN’s functions and workings as the UH TV station.”

As for The Cougar, we are excited at the prospect of working with SVN and Coog Radio to help develop our own video and podcasting products to package with our print content, providing readers with a number of ways to experience the brand of news and entertainment we’ve provided as we look to increase our digital presence.

When the Student Media wing opens in January, the three organizations will be working as neighbors and partners. We will still be individual organizations, but we’ll be more capable of working together to bring a new brand of media to UH.

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