News - Press Association Names Student Publication Vista as Finalist

Press Association Names Student Publication Vista as Finalist

By Rachel Heston-Davis Press Association Names Student Publication Vista as Finalist

The secular world sometimes sees Christian media as irrelevant. Kirsten Norsworthy, a junior at Greenville College and content editor of its student magazine The Vista, knows this. But she also knows that a commitment to excellence paired with cutting-edge interdisciplinary practices can make even a small Christian college with a modest journalism budget competitive in publishing.

Norsworthy was thrilled when The Vista was named a 2015 ACP Magazine Pacemaker Finalist at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in October.

“It’s kind of setting the bar for the field [of college journalism] as a whole,” Norsworthy says of the award. The Associated Collegiate Press (ACP), a national organization of college journalism students and advisers, awards Pacemaker standing to student publications that meet high standards in content and design.

Interdisciplinary Focus Proves a Winner

Getting a publication up to Pacemaker standards is no easy task. Various disciplines—writing, digital design, and photography—must work together to produce an excellent product.

The Vista certainly takes this interdisciplinary approach. A team of student writers works with a team of digital media students on each issue. Norsworthy leads the writing team and appreciates the design students’ input. “They add another layer to express the meaning of [our] writing. I think it’s really cool how people from different majors with different talents and skills come together to present one piece.”

She’s proud of The Vista’s achievements through this marriage of different disciplines. “Our magazine is competitive against much larger universities with more resources.”

Other student publications at the College take this interdisciplinary approach.

The Papyrus student newspaper

  • publishes online,
  • pairs a writing and design team,
  • utilizes social media,
  • joins classic reporting with online writing skills,
  • includes podcasts, video, photography, graphics and links.

The Scriblerus literary arts journal

  • publishes online,
  • accepts traditional and emerging genres (writing, art, digital design, video, spoken word poetry),
  • employs an editorial staff whose interests reflect various disciplines.

Center for Visual Culture and Media Studies Comes to GC This Fall

This focus on combining expertise from different areas to impact culture is an initiative GC plans to carry forward fall 2016 with the launch of its Center for Visual Culture and Media Studies (CVCMS). The virtual learning space will allow students majoring in Art, Communication, English and/or Digital Media to learn basic competencies in all four disciplines. Because modern communication is visual and virtual, students who major in any one of these areas need a general familiarity with the other three.

Students will start by taking five core courses: Intro to Digital Media, Intro to Business, Foundations in Drawing, Storytelling and Intro to Programming.

The CVCMS program will also include courses in cultural criticism, media theory, and art theory – all beneficial to students like Norsworthy, who want to understand how Christians can better impact modern media.

Christian Relevance In Media

As Norsworthy points out, understanding and creating relevant media allows opportunities for the wider world “to glimpse the heart of Greenville College.” For instance, Norsworthy remembers the number of student publications at the national ACP/CMA conference that focused on “getting the dirt” on their school. She was proud to present a publication that explores relevant student issues without taking that approach. She believes journalism that avoids cynicism “is so much more powerful for good.” It reflects GC’s dedication to respectful dialogue on tough topics.

“I think The Vista provides some concrete evidence for this broader mission we’re always talking about,” Norsworthy says. “It celebrates students that are really living out the mission of Christ and the mission of GC.”

View The Vista online to get a taste of GC’s student magazine.

Check out The Papyrus for day-by-day coverage of the GC community.

Don’t forget The Scriblerus, now running a multi-genre publishing contest with monetary prizes for undergrad and high school students.

Greenville College empowers students for lives of character and service through the Fund for Educational Excellence. Click here to give

This story was published on January 29, 2016




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