By Brad Hallier
One of my favorite movies of all time is “The Breakfast Club,” the 1980s comedy-drama about five suburban high-school students who spend a Saturday morning in detention.
What makes this movie a classic is it will never be cliche or outdated. It was relevant in 1985 when it was released, and it’s relevant today. It would have been relevant had it been made in the silent-movie era with Charlie Chaplin as troublemaker John Bender.
As I’ve aged, now starting my fifth decade on this planet, I’ve come to realize that my favorite exchange is between principal Richard Vernon and Carl the janitor.
They’re sitting in a storage room when Vernon begins griping about the kids in his school, saying how they’ve changed.
Of course, most of us think that. That our generation, when growing up, was somehow superior to the current generation of kids.
Carl has the perfect response.
“Come on Vern! The kids haven’t changed! You have!”
Completely agree. How kids are raised has changed, but they are not much different than my generation, your generation or their generation.
While kids haven’t changed, journalism has. No longer do we eagerly wait for the newspaper every morning, or rush to the television at 5:59 p.m. to catch the 6 p.m. local newscast. Now, we hop on our phones, or tablet, or computer, and we can get the news we want 24/7.
We use Twitter. We use Facebook. We go to news outlets online. And that’s where you can expect to find news going on at Hutchinson Community College.
As a new journalism instructor at Hutchinson CC, and the new adviser to the student-run newspaper, The Hutchinson Collegian, I have many goals and ambitions. Some are long term, like trying to get high school students interested in journalism to think of Hutchinson CC. Others are under way, like having a Twitter account and Facebook account routinely updated with news, photos and reminders. Updating our web site will happen regularly too, and not just when a new printed edition comes out.
For example, we won’t publish our first edition until early September. Yet, on Aug. 21, one of the first days of classes, there will be a solar eclipse. Hutchinson can expect more than 90 percent darkness during this rare phenomenon. Why not cover it? Why not Facebook Live it, and write a story for the web immediately after?
This is just one of many changes we will be bringing to The Collegian.
Hopefully, this is the one of the few times you’ll read something I’ve written. We’re not here to make the news, just report on it. We’re not here to be the news. We’re here to inform, discuss and entertain.
We can’t do this without help from the students and staff. I can’t guarantee coverage, but keep us up to date on the goings on in the dorms, in your clubs, on campus. We want to be the eyes and ears of this institution. Even if you’re not taking a journalism class, you can contribute to the paper, whether that’s writing news, features, opinion pieces or sports. We’ll find something for you to do.
And when you pick up a copy of The Collegian, or read it online, remember this – news hasn’t changed. The way we want to consume it has.
Kids, likewise, haven’t changed.
Brad Hallier is a first-year journalism instructor at Hutchinson Community College and The Hutchinson Collegian’s adviser. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org