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Friday, September 29, 2023

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the editor: There’s value in a student newspaper

Two Cougar columnists, Don Barthelme and John Chapman, "bam up" their version of how columnists supplement each other and cooperate for the good of the newspaper. Barthleme, left, was a columnist for the Cougar in 1952, but quickly rose through the ranks to become the youngest managing editor of his time. Later, he helped found the UH Creative Writing Program.

The Cougar is the University of Houston’s oldest student organization. | File photo/The Cougar

On one of my first days in Keith Houk’s Media and Society class, he said something that stood out to me.

“If you ever want to take over a country, the first thing you have to do is take over the media.”

Media is a powerful thing whether you’re planning world domination or simply want to do some good in your own backyard.

I’m writing this on a Sunday, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of print production. I’ve been interrupted five times since I started writing this, and that’s probably just the start of it.

Media, and the need for it, never stops.

The Cougar has, historically, been here since UH’s beginning. We were the first student organization UH ever had and continue to strive to be the best we can be each and every day.

Our editorial independence makes us different from others. We have advisers who are here to do just that — advise.

They can’t control anything we publish.

Our First Amendment right as journalists is always in tact, and for that we are forever grateful. We’ve never had to deal with rebellion from administration like so many other universities around the country.

There’s a value to student journalism.

Not only does it allow for journalists-to-be to train for the workforce, but enables them to have a safe place to make mistakes, learn about all aspects of media and becoming deeper embedded in the university and education that they are getting.

Our job is to be the voice of the students.

Other media publications cover UH, sure, but they aren’t a direct outlet to students.Student voices need to be heard and that’s what The Cougar is here to do.

We’re going to show UH’s bad side, too. We aren’t afraid to do that because that’s exactly what’s going on at the University. Life isn’t perfect and neither is UH.

We have a job to do each and every day. I’m not saying we’re perfect, but we fight through a lot to try and get the most accurate, timely news out to you as soon as possible.

In honor of National Newspaper Week, I’m glad to say that there is a student newspaper at the University of Houston campus, and that there’s no signs of that reign ending any time soon.

No other organization does what we do, and I’m proud to be at the helm of such a dedicated and passionate group of people willing lay it all out on the line in the name of journalism.

— Glissette Santana, editor in chief


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