A turn of the century

Avery Wickersham (TheLorian)

The fall semester of 2021 isn’t just the start of another school year; in fact, it’s a monumental year for “The Lorian.” This edition marks 100 years of news publications at Loras College. While a school newspaper doesn’t seem like much to celebrate, it’s a mark of resilience of printed news in a world taken over by technological media. Limited attention spans, busy schedules, and an aversion to reading prevent students today from even picking up the paper. Unfortunately, extra copies are left in piles around campus more often than not. This year, “The Lorian” staff plan to change that.

According to Scot Scoop:

“newspapers have been an abiding tradition dating back to the early 18th century.” 300 years later, media has all but consumed different demographics of multiple generations, but most specifically, Generation Z.

Jason Dorsey, a generations researcher, presents the following statistics on technology use by Gen Z: “95 percent own a smartphone, 83 percent own a laptop, 78 percent own an advanced gaming console, and 57 percent have a desktop computer. 29 percent use their smartphone past midnight on a nightly basis.”

With these findings, it’s not hard to see why newspapers are neglected by Gen Z students.

However, some students—and many staff—are excited to be a part of “The Lorian” staff and continue the century-long tradition. Mark Mederson, the student supervisor, and Keegan Godwin, the executive editor, share their thoughts on both the tradition of “The Lorian” and their excitement of the 100-year mark.

What does the Lorian tradition mean to you?

Mederson: College media, like the newspaper, radio station, or television channel, have been influential on campuses across the country for decades. Even in this “digital” age, students who work on “The Lorian” prefer to publish a paper that is printed. The tradition of college media is that it is a product of learning for those who read it and those who create it. I am merely an advisor. “The Lorian” is completely developed and managed by students. It’s just a great experience. 

Godwin: To me, “The Lorian” tradition is a very special one. It’s difficult in this day and age for newspapers against technology, but that does not mean we give up. To me, it is about preserving a sacred way of communication that has been the core of our foundation as a society here in our world.

How excited are you that this year marks year 100?

Mederson: I recently saw some copies of the paper from decades ago. It was fascinating to see what was happening on the campus 30 or 40 years ago! It’s a little intimidating to think that “The Lorian” has been a part of Loras College for a century. That puts a lot of pressure on the current team to maintain the tradition. I think it is probably the best example of an archive that future generations can reference to discover what was happening on the campus. Especially in the last two years during the pandemic.  

Godwin: The 100th volume of the paper is an amazing opportunity to show respect and recognition to all those who came before us. I expect to see a lot of throwback designs and images that pay homage to our early years as a paper. Hopefully, if all goes well, we can use this year to help grow our newspaper and family.

There are many things to come with “The Lorian” this year, so readers should pay attention to every edition to see amazing content from their fellow students and staff. Not only that but “The Lorian” is moving more content online and introducing a Patreon account to bring in more outside readership. “The Lorian” staff is working to keep the print tradition alive, while also moving ahead with the times. Here’s to the 100th volume!

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