To Be…

To Be...

“Democracy Dies in Darkness” has been the slogan of the Washington Post since Feb 22, 2017, emphasizing the importance of a free and independent press.

Brookdale’s student newspaper, The Current, has been struggling to rebuild student viewership after the Covid-19 pandemic. If left to atrophy, the newspaper will die. Students will lose their avenue for democratic speech.

The paper needs an editor to start now or in September as Editor-in-Chief Phillip Cozzi will be graduating this month. No current staffers have stepped up to take on the role.

Brookdale’s journalism program is small. Larger universities, such as Rutgers, have greater resources to produce its newspaper. For example, Rutgers has an editor for nearly all of The Daily Targum’s jurisdictions, and they’re paid. Meanwhile, The Current has an editor-in-chief, an entertainment editor and a few staffers. The Current is truly an underdog amongst underdogs, but who doesn’t like a good comeback?

Despite being smaller, Brookdale still has around 6,000 students. That’s 6,000 people with loves, fears, hates, joys, sorrows, pains and aspirations. These are people who could easily be drowned out by a torrent of information, no avenue to express their will or their drive.

Community colleges are often written out of people’s histories. When you graduate from a four-year institution, your degree bears its name alone.

You spend time here, makes friends here, fall in love here, break down in tears outside the Student Life Center after a failed test and swell with pride when you move on. The people here deserve a voice. You deserve a voice.

The website is maintained at a yearly cost of $750, which is barely anything in comparison to other operational costs or the pre-pandemic expense of producing a print newspaper. But even with this low overheard is the endeavor worth the effort?

In its absence, what would you be missing? “What’s With The Wigs Mr. Perry?” is a piece of art commentary that went viral over spring break years after it was written in 2020.

When it was originally published on the Current, it had a mere fraction of those views. It grossed over 1,300 views and is the Current’s most viewed article to date. 1,300 people sought out that piece. 1,300 people read it, years after it was written. Journalism allows us to write something that maintains a record of the past even after we’ve long moved on.

The information, opinions, memories, beliefs, hopes, fears, are all contained within and waiting for the curious to find them. What would we gain by throwing it all into the fire?

Of the three students that were interviewed, two adamantly voice their support of the newspaper’s importance. The third had not heard about the paper but was nonetheless enthusiastic when informed about its existence, voicing the kinds of topics they wanted to see represented in it.

When you look back on Brookdale, remember it was there for you to get where you’re going. The people here matter. So do their voices.

In the comments below, tell them if it should be kept it around and if you’d personally be interested in joining the paper. The Current is open to all students regardless of major.