Editorial: The Observer’s First Semester Ends Today

By David Wells

Today’s edition of the Oxford Observer closes out our first semester of operation.

The Observer, with stories covering life in Oxford that are reported, written and edited by students, faculty and staff from Miami’s Department of Media Journalism & Film, will be taking a break over the holidays. We will be back with our next edition on Friday, Jan. 11.

The goal of the Observer has been to provide clear and dependable coverage of news happening in the city of Oxford and its surrounding area. Our core group of reporters has come from my JRN 350 reporting class, with support in putting it all together from the JRN 316 editing and design class of our webmaster, Dr. Sarah Siff.

But we have had many story contributions from other classes in our department as well. In all, we have posted 15 editions, containing more than 100 stories, more than 70 news briefs and more than 20 news videos. There also have been letters, obituaries, columns, dozens of photographs and charts and even a few examples of poetry.

We know from the analytics that we run on our website that there have been tens of thousands of page views and more than 6,500 unique visits since we launched on Aug. 31.

We have covered a rich variety of stories, from the arguments over and resolution of the controversy about the Talawanda High School mascot, to the zoning issues along South Elm Street, to crimes against residents, to celebrations of people and events the community wishes to remember. And, oh yes, let’s not forget the scooters, those ubiquitous little transports that seem to have become regular fixtures humming along Oxford’s streets.

In short, we have tried to cover life in Oxford.

I wrote a column for our first edition in which I said the Observer would seek to be a mirror to the community. I believe we have succeeded in doing that and I hope you agree and that you appreciate what you have seen. We haven’t covered everything, but we have tried to fairly reflect the things that are happening in this community.

If there are stories we have missed, stories that you want us to know about, opinions you want to share or grievances you wish to voice, tell us about them. You don’t have to wait for January. We can always be reached through our community editor, Sara Christman, at [email protected], or with a letter to the editor at [email protected]. Our mailing address is Oxford Observer, 120 Williams Hall, 350 S. Oak St., Oxford, OH 45056. You can also call us at (513) 529-0156.

We are taking a break for the next few weeks because, as noted, this is a newspaper staffed by students and most of the students are leaving town for their winter break. But we will be back on Jan. 11 with new students covering new stories. Watch for us.

David Wells is the editor of the Oxford Observer. Previously he worked as an editor and reporter at the Cincinnati Enquirer for 35 years. He has been teaching at Miami since 2011.