Friday, November 27, 2009

IUPUI's Sagamore is no more. In other news...

As someone who actually attends IUPUI and spends a lot of time on campus outside of the classroom, I had absolutely no idea that IUPUI's Sagamore (the student run newspaper) had ceased publishing. Unfortunately, for at least since I started attending, the Sagamore has not done much actual reporting. Instead, it has served as an "independent" body to promote IUPUI's policies and certain school events, mainly sports.

In my two years inside the journalism school at IUPUI, teachers rarely promoted the Sagamore and I don't recall an editor or anyone coming into a class to promote it. Now that's just a strange experience to ponder over. It doesn't prove anything about the Sagamore other than possibly their lack of self-promotion.

But in my freshman year, I somehow got involved in a small controversy surrounding the Black Student Caucus. I talked to a few activists on both sides of the issue, and was even interviewed by a reporter for a story she was writing. But the reporter was from the Indiana Daily Student, IU-Bloomington's student paper. This reporter was able to pitch a story to her editor about an issue that is happening an hour north of them, that had no direct impact on IU-Bloomington. But she wrote the story and got it published.

But The Sagamore was not managed like the Indiana Daily Student. IDS, and ideally every student-run newspaper, should strive to be like every other news publication. But the Sagamore, in my four years of reading it, rarely covered anything outside of the IUPUI campus, and the issues they did cover weren't covered very well.

Anybody who visited the Sagamore's website while it was up and running often would run into broken images, and links that led to nowhere. That tradition has carried on to the IUPUI Student Media website, where "About Us" and "Contact Us" leads you right back to the main page. Doing a search for...well, anything, will turn up zero results.

Their reporting chops aren't much to brag about either. The top story on the main page, Entertainment, and Food are from the Indianapolis Star, Rolling Stone, and the AP. Clicking on several stories, including the top story under Military, had several misaligned boxes making it hard to read some parts at the end of the article.

Oh, and try doing a search for "Wishard" on IUPUI Student Media. Even though the new hospital's construction will drastically affect student parking for a long time, there is not a word written about it on their site. So much for informing their audience of the events happening in their community and getting their thoughts on those types of matters.. If only there was some avenue that could be used to do such a task...


  1. I've been around iupui for awhile as a student. I used to read the sagamore between (and durning) class, cause I wanted to know what was happening at iupui. And to do what you suggest it should do - stand up for the student body.

    It took me years to come to the realization that the sagamore never existed to do those things. Unlike a traditional paper, it never attempted to serve a the voice for the student. It couldve forced real change at iupui. But it never even attempted to. What I realized is that the sagamore was simply a resume builder for students - what iupui calls experiential learning.

    Now the sagamore staff basically learn to post to a crappy blog platform. Iupui students should be ashamed.

  2. As a member of the IUPUI Student Media staff, I just want everyone to know that we are working on the new platform. It's been a challenge having to lose the Sagamore due to funding issues and the fact that newspapers are dying. A group of students came together and dedicated our entire summer to finding out what the campus needs and better our coverage.

    So don't loose hope on ISM. Please remember we are students, we are all learning, and we are all spending so much time trying to make the student publication the best it can be--and a printed publication isn't even it.

    There are quite a few students who would be pretty heartbroken to read this after all the work we've done. We are working so hard.

    There is a lot more put into this than you may even realize. Don't be quick to judge. And just keep your eyes out, this system will be running smoothly soon.

  3. The Sagamore was always a joke. When I was a student in the 1980s it was poorly edited and written, when I was a student in the 1990s it was poorly edited, written, and managed. Really, though, it merely reflected the j-school's hopeless idolization of newspaper culture, and the demise of the Sagamore emphasizes the irrelevance of newspapers and the IUPUI j-school.

    Maybe someday IUPUI will have a real student media outlet, but it won't be sponsored by the IUPUI School of Journalism.

  4. On that note, this is a very poorly written article in general, not to mention the lack of actual sources. You would fit right in with the Sagamore staff.

  5. It really amazes me that, several years later, the IUPUI and Sagamore related posts still get views and comments.

    You can look it up on Google and show that the Sagamore ceased publication, but I originally found out myself just by looking around on campus.

    IUPUI's site still seems to imply it is running in its "History" section.


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