We are The Sunflower

Editor-in-Chief

Ever since the first issue, way back in January 1896, the Sunflower has been a source of news and information for the students, staff, faculty and alumni of Wichita State University. Much like the journalism industry itself, the Sunflower has evolved and changed over the decades. 

This summer saw much in the way of change to our newspaper, particularly in design. We are more committed now than ever to providing WSU with a reliable, unbiased news source that is both informative and entertaining.

Most importantly, the Sunflower remains a true student newspaper. Other than our business manager, who we couldn’t live without, the entire staff of the paper is composed of currently enrolled WSU students. 

Every great photo, story or layout is a product of a student; unfortunately, so are all of our faults. But this is what makes student newspapers so great. 

It is a laboratory for young journalists, many of which have no experience in the field. We don’t have any outside experts or faculty members telling us what we can and cannot publish. The last people to see the pages before they go to the printer each production night are the students working at the Sunflower. 

Our newsroom is located in the basement of Elliott Hall on the WSU campus, and is always open to the public. We love having people stop by to learn about how we operate, talk about possible jobs or about advertising in our paper, or to discuss with us issues that affect the WSU community. 

It’s important for everyone to remember, including us, who the newspaper serves. First and foremost, it serves you, the reader. The students of WSU are our number one priority, and we are thankful for every one of you that picks up our newspaper.

The Staff

The staff of the Sunflower numbers approximately 40 during the school year, including the advertising staff. It is comprised of reporters, photographers, copy editors, designers, sales representatives, and our entire editorial board. 

As the editor-in-chief, I am responsible for the editorial content, which includes everything non-ad related. I am the person to talk to about our photos and content, and have final say in what actually runs in the paper.

Working alongside me is my managing editor, whose main job is to “manage” the news budget. Her job duties include coming up with story ideas and making sure that they get assigned to reporters, then editing the stories when they come in. 

After that you will find the production editor, who leads our design, a photo editor, web editor and sports editor. Then comes the rest of the staff, which does the dirty work of interviewing and writing the stories, and shooting the photos. 

The Sunflower is always looking for talented and motivated students that are interested in reporting or photojournalism. We are always taking applications. 

Production

The Sunflower publishes three times a week during the fall and spring semesters—Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

Production for each issue is the day before it comes out. Working at a newspaper is not for the faint of heart, and often has us running wild to meet deadline. But again, this is part of the joy of working for a newspaper, especially one led completely by students.

The Future

It’s impossible to determine the long-term future of journalism or of the Sunflower. Despite the belief that newspapers are dying, I am confident that journalism is not going to disappear—just evolve. Technology has drastically changed how we get the news, and the Sunflower is determined to keep pace. We have recently launched a new website (www.thesunflower.com) and are continuing to experiment with video and audio. 

You may also find that we are being more aggressive with social media, so make sure to follow us on Twitter (@sunflowernews) or on Facebook.

Final Sales Pitch

If you are reading this, either in our Survival Guide or on our website, we thank you. We are here for you and always want to know what you would like to read. Should you ever have any questions, concerns or ideas regarding the Sunflower, I would love to hear from you. If stopping by our office in Elliott Hall seems too much of a hassle, you can email me at [email protected]