The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

The Knox Student

About

THE KNOX STUDENT STAFF HANDBOOK

THE KNOX STUDENT WRITERS GUIDE

What We Do

The Knox Student is Knox College’s award-winning student read, student written, student led news organization. But what does that mean exactly? Let’s break it down. 

Student  read – our readers, our audience, is the Knox College students. 

Student written – all our reporters are students, nothing comes from faculty. 

Student led – we have no faculty overseer, we are an independent organization that makes our own publishing choices. Our advisor is only there to support when needed. 

And we are a news organization, in the past, we might have said newspaper, but TKS is on so much more than paper now. We report the news in a timely, accurate and unbiased manner so that the student body better understands what is happening on campus. We publish event coverage, think pieces, fluff pieces, investigative pieces, everything under the sun that you can think of as journalism? We do that.

Why We Do It

Journalism is about the search for the truth, we might not always find it, but we’re always looking. Knox students deserve a news source grounded in integrity and curiosity, which is what TKS strives to be. 

We ask questions, search for answers, write and publish to make sense out of what is happening in the world, and to help our readers make sense of it too. 

Mission

To create a more informed campus and educate future journalists by elevating diverse voices and always seeking the truth.

Values

Transparency: Transparency leads to trust. We believe in transparency between our editors and our staff, between our writers and our sources, and us and our audience and community. All information on how TKS is run is accessible on the web! 

Independence: TKS is fully student run, we are independent of the college. This is important to showcase the opinions and experiences of students as well as to provide a factual unbiased narrative of events on campus.

Empathy: Empathy is at the core of journalism, we want to help our audience empathize with people whose lives are different from them. We also want to show empathy to all our sources, because everyone is a human worthy of being treated with dignity.  

Passion: Part of our mission is to educate future journalists, we can’t do this without our writers having some passion about what they are working on. Our writers all have a personal and emotional commitment to the work because of their passion for writing and journalism.

Curiosity: If we’re not curious, we won’t start writing about anything! Both our journalists and readers need to be curious about the world around them, otherwise, what’s the point of journalism?

Accessibility: TKS has diverse models for distributing the news, with both video and audio components, as well as several ways for people to access our writings. This is because access to news is so important, and we don’t want there to be barriers to anyone who wants to access news. 

Trustworthiness: We want our readers to trust that we are reporting factually and ethically, otherwise we’re no better than a gossip magazine. Our goal is always to confirm and contextualize the gossip.

How We Do it

TKS has a 3 pronged approach to journalism so that writers can learn about different types of writing and practice different skills. All staff members should be familiar with the differences between them and the purposes they serve. 

The Web (and newsletter) 

The Web, currently at theknoxstudent.org is TKS’s main presence. We publish on the web as often as possible, and all stories written will always end up on the web. This is where we get most of our views and interaction. Writing for the web is one of the first skills you’ll learn. This is classic journalistic style, stories are 500-750 words, about events, people, trends, you name it. The TKS newsletter is simply a collection of all the articles posted to the web in a week. It is sent out on Friday mornings and includes all articles published since the previous Friday. 

The Radio

TKS has a weekly radio show on WVKC. The show is on Monday’s and discusses the past week’s articles. Each reporter is responsible for writing and recording the radio version of their own stories by Friday. Writing for the radio is different than writing for the web, it is shorter, more conversational. Practicing writing for the radio makes you better at writing for the web, and gives you experience with a different type of writing. All reporters must record their own stories, regardless of how you feel about the sound of your own voice. Getting used to hearing yourself talk is an important part of being a journalist! You sound great, don’t worry. 

The Mag

The TKS Magazine comes out once a term. It is a professionally printed, full color magazine designed by the TKS graphics team. The stories in the Mag are a little different. Writers have about four weeks to work on them, as opposed to just one. These stories should be longer, closer to 1000-2000 words and should involve more in-depth reporting. You should be speaking to more sources, doing more research. Often these stories are about trends, not events, this gives them a timeless quality. All reporters should practice this type of longform journalism, but not everyone will make it into the mag every time. 

Get Involved

The Knox Student has open meetings during the academic terms on Mondays at 5:00 pm. They take place in the S.S. McClure Publications Office (AKA The Pub Office) in Seymour Union. The best way to stay informed on meetings is to contact us using the form on the right to ask to be placed on our mailing list.

Any student at Knox College can volunteer to write or take photos for TKS. If you don’t have experience, we’ll give you whatever guidance you need to get started.

If you wish to submit an opinion piece or letter to the editor, you may email the Editor-In-Chief. It is not required to come to our meetings to submit an opinion. We want to make sure that even if you aren’t involved with the paper, you still can make your voice heard on this campus. We do require that submissions be from a member of the Knox community; If from someone outside the Knox community, submissions must still be directly pertinent to Knox College.

TKS Awards and Honors

NATIONAL AWARDS

2020: Pacemaker Finalist (Associate College Press)

2019: Pacemaker Finalist; Honorable Mention — Graphic Design; (ACP)

2018: 2nd Place — Sports Story (ACP)

2017: Pacemaker Winner; 3rd Place — Opinion, Editorial Writing; Honorable Mention — Reporter of the Year; (ACP)

2016: Nominated — News Story of the Year (ACP)

2015: Honorable Mention — Feature Story (ACP)

2014: Pacemaker Finalist (ACP) | Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper in Region 5 (Society of Professional Journalism)

2013:  4th Place — News Story of the Year (ACP)

2012: 7th Place — Best of Show among 4-Year Colleges on Tabloid Paper (ACP)

STATE AWARDS (Illinois Collegiate Press Association)

2020: 14 awards (3 first, third in General Excellence); EIC: Connor Wood

2019: 25 awards (8 first); EIC: Erika Riley

2018: 19 awards (7 first, General excellence); EICs: Erika Riley, Jonathan Schrag, Lillie Chamberlin

2017: 20 awards (7 first, General excellence); EIC: Rachel Landman

2016: 19 awards (10 firsts); EICs: Kate Mishkin, Casey Mendoza

2015: 12 awards (4 firsts); EIC: Julian Boireau

2014: 18 awards (5 firsts, second in General Excellence); EIC: Charlie Megenity

2013: 14 awards (5 firsts, including General Excellence); EIC: Anna Meier

2012: 18 awards (4 first places); EIC: John Williams

2011: 19 awards (7 first places; second place General Excellence); EIC: Annie Zak

2010: 12 awards (5 firsts, including General Excellence); EIC: Laura Miller

2009: 9 awards; EIC: Deana Rutherford

2008: 6 awards (1 first); EIC: Tom Fucoloro

2007: 9 awards; EIC: Bill Mayeroff

2006: 6 awards

2004: 6 awards

2003: 9 awards

2002: 3 awards

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