Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Changing Tides earns journalism grant

“Not so much a lens, as a magnifying glass.” This is how Changing Tides describes itself on its online home,

Changing Tides is a student-run online publication that is dedicated to in-depth reporting and analysis of campus issues and culture. It has been in publication since April 2009 and recently received a $1,500 grant from Campus Progress in Washington D.C.

Campus Progress is an outreach program of the Center for American Progress that seeks to strengthen student publications across the nation by providing not only training but also grants that will help these publications grow.

David Spett, the journalism network associate for the Center of American Progress and also one of the deciders in which publications would be awarded grants, said one of the qualities looked for in publications was a staff of student journalists who are making a difference on their campus. Other criteria for the grant were that the publication was already doing the best it could with what resources it had and was regularly updating its website.

“We want to see student journalists who are covering their communities as well as they can and who perform a public service and make a difference on their campus,” Spett said. “Changing Tides has a history of doing some really great investigative work that makes a difference on the University of Alabama campus.”

Twice a semester, Changing Tides picks a topic to report on in depth. Past topics have included race relations, religion, the football phenomenon and the SGA.

The next topic, which will appear on the Changing Tide website soon, centers on the idea of the “underground UA,” with focuses on underage drinking and UA’s status as a party school. The issue will explore the issues of college as a time for experimentation.

Changing Tides will use the grant for operational expenses, marketing expenses and staff development.

“Our hope at Campus Progress is that the grant will be able to help the organization to get noticed in a bigger and better way,” Spett said. “We want them to be able to focus on good journalism and not have to worry about resources.”

Sarah Massey, managing editor of Changing Tides, said the site is hoping to incorporate more multimedia aspects, including an audio slideshow. She emphasized the importance of the publication to the UA campus, saying the topics are relevant to students’ lives and make students feel like they have more of a voice.

“By picking one issue and looking at it, we can go more in depth than a newspaper could,” Massey said.

Whitney Wash, Changing Tides’ multimedia editor, said the staff hopes their publication will become a forum for student discussion.

“Because the publication is still so new, one of our main goals is simply to raise awareness,” she said. “Unfortunately, many students are unaware that Changing Tides even exists.

“Through collaborations with [The Crimson White] and other marketing strategies, we hope to increase our readership around campus and provide a forum for students to discuss pertinent issues.”

Sam Grimes, Changing Tides’ editor-in-chief, said the publication is in a partnership with The Crimson White in that they pick topics that will go hand in hand with what the CW is reporting. Changing Tides, however, is able to spend more time and really delve into the different facets of a topic.

“Changing Tides will surprise you in the spectrum of voices and opinions that are expressed in various articles we produce,” Grimes said. “We try to be timely and address issues that are relevant to students lives in a fun and interactive way.”

Chris Izor, an assistant editor, said Changing Tides is appreciative of the support from The Crimson White and the Office of Student Media, which helped focus the vision of the site.

“We want to expand as the University expands and to be an additional publication that students can visit when they want issues addressed,” Izor said. “We want to be what the students want us to be and to respond to their needs. We want their feedback.”

While discussions have ensued on the website’s Facebook page, Changing Tides still hopes to increase readership and foster a discussion about the topics that it brings to the student body’s attention.

“Our coverage will raise many questions, and while it will provide some answers, the overarching goal will be to make our audience so well-versed on an issue that they can ask this burning question: What can we as people invested in the prosperity of this University do to improve this issue?” the website states.

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