Resurgence of the Press: Student-Run Newspaper Makes Triumphant Return
September 6, 2023
Editors note: This article was written by Zvi Gutierrez, the Marketing and Communications Department student writer. She is also the editor for The Mirror.
The Mirror, the University of Northern Colorado’s (UNC) only student-run newspaper, has been producing articles, columns and opinion pieces for over a century. It was created in 1919 when UNC was called the Colorado State Teachers College.
In an issue from May of that year, The Mirror promoted a contestoffering $10 in prizes to award students. The most a student received was $2.50, which is equivalent to almost $45 in 2023. Also in 1919, women in America were legally allowed to vote for the very first time since the 19th Amendment was ratified in August.
Back then, the free newspaper was distributed in newsstands on campus and at some local businesses in Greeley for people to read. This fall, after a couple of semesters on hiatus, it will be making a return and aligning with present-day media and demand, it will become an online newspaper.
From the vault: above is a work room in the Activities area on the east side of the second floor of the College Center, later renamed the University Center. The work room was available for use by all students and organizations, and included poster equipment, typewriters and a ditto machine. Visible to the right is the desk for John Mason, who was The Mirror student newspaper editor in 1966.
In the late 20th century, The Mirror broke off from UNC and became independent. The Student Media Corporation began operating The Mirror with the help of students. The current advisor for The Mirror is Lynn Klyde-Allaman, associate professor of Journalism who has been teaching at the university since 2000. They were on the Student Media Corporation board and oversaw parts of The Mirror for years. They took a step back from the corporation about five years ago.
In 2008, when the economy plummeted, Klyde-Allaman said that rumors began spreading that The Mirror had closed. Although the rumors were false, advertisers started moving their business to other media outlets, such as BandWagonMagazine.This started the downfall of the newspaper, but in the past year, the Journalism program at UNC has reclaimed The Mirror, setting the stage for a comeback. It is now part of the curriculum in writing classes giving journalism students a chance to write for the paper.
Wanting to bring back the publication and provide news about UNC from the students’ perspective, Klyde-Allaman's goal for this year is to produce consistent, timely stories that the university community will enjoy throughout the school year. There is a hope that with the written stories there can be an incorporation of videos and more photos, so The Mirror expands its scope to gain more attention.
“I want [students] to learn to be proud of what they write,” said Klyde-Allaman. “I want them to all have that pride of having your stuff published.”
In addition to publishing more stories written by students taking the 410 Advanced News course, or who volunteer their work, there will be a monthly podcast produced along with The Mirror this semester. Klyde-Allaman says the goal is to give students hands-on experience through multiple media platforms and garner more readership. The podcast does not have a direction yet, but the plan is to expand on stories students write in class to gain a different perspective on the story.
Quinn Hodge, former editor of The Mirror and a senior at UNC, has big hopes for the resurgence of the newspaper. She wants it to be a collaborative effort rather than one person’s vision. In the past couple of years, the newspaper has been run by very few students. Normally, it falls onto the editor to make big decisions regarding how The Mirror will look, but Hodge hopes that other students’ visions are considered this year.
“I want it to be resuscitated and become a staple part of the [Journalism] program,” said Hodge. “I want it to be something people know about, and it be a news source for what students need to know on campus.”
Zvi Gutierrez, the editor for the 2023-24 school year, is hoping to bring more visibility to The Mirror and have journalism students take interest in the newspaper like they do with Bear News, a weekly student-run news broadcast under the advisement of Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies, Shawn Montano. She wants fellow students to be excited about writing for the newspaper and getting their work published.
Being consistent is also a top priority for Gutierrez with running stories students want to read. She hopes that with the addition of the podcast, it’ll make the newspaper more prominent on campus while gaining recognition as a reliable news source people can come back to with fresh stories.
In the long run, Klyde-Allaman wants to have more people involved. They want students with other majors to take journalism classes and learn how to write for The Mirror, widening the coverage of campus for everyone to feel included and seen. Collaborations from the other Journalism professors might also help the newspaper gain momentum in producing more content. That way the century-lasting student newspaper will be the source of information for another century more.
To read articles from The Mirror, visit the online webpage. For other news sources also part of the Journalism program, check out the Bear in Mind podcast hosted by senior Katie Nord, and the weekly news broadcast Bear News.