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There’s been considerable focus on the decline of the newspaper as a format in the United States lately.  Rupert Murdoch went as far as claiming that pay subscriptions were just around the corner for people who used online news services.  The RIT magazine, Reporter, has been going strong since I got here in 2005, and over the years, I’ve had a love hate relationship with the magazine.   The Reporter represents something to me that I believe is a fundamental issue with newspapers and magazines that don’t come in electronic formats is the lack of an ability to feedback.

On the internet, if you’re upset with an article that someone has written, almost all the time, there’s a section of the site that can handle your desire to handle the writer.  A magazine or a newspaper used to have letters to the editor, but what did letters to the editor really mean?  Frequently, the best sites are sites that allow public feedback, not screened feedback from the editor.

Under the last Editor in Chief, Laura Mandanas, I was generally satisfied with the Reporter’s content.  Since the new editor, Andy Rees has taken over, I’ve become dissatisfied with the slant in coverage.  It’s nothing I can really put my finger on exactly, but the articles like Crowdsourcing seem to have shifted into bullocks like Find A New Line.  Where one of these articles was a legitimate and interesting change of pace, the other is essentially a writer bitching about pick up lines.

I think it’s wonderful we give students a voice, and I don’t want to pretend that problems don’t exist at RIT, but the gender ratio at this school is a nasty problem, and a frequent point of discussion for those not in relationships.  Furthermore, the article isn’t constructive, it’s bitchy, pretentious, and self aware.  Perhaps the only thing worse, is that I feel as though I’ve read a handful of similar articles to this already.  While I probably haven’t, if you’re entire student body seems to be aware of it already, is it really news or a feature?

So to the writer, thank you for pointing out everything that doesn’t work.  If you’d be so kind as to write something that might actually help, that’d be lovely.  You’ve told us everything you don’t like, now mention what you do, after all, no one wants to pick up someone that negative.

To the editor, pay attention to your features, and if you’re going to publish trite crap, at least make it helpful.  Additionally, you’re missing lines from Naive Professionalism.  Shape up, or ship out.

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