Every Thursday, students start walking to class five minutes earlier than usual to ensure they get a paper to sit down and skim before class. This paper is The Auburn Plainsman.
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The Auburn Plainsman started in 1985. Student editors, managers and writers determine the content, coverage and policies of the paper. The official student newspaper has a mission to serve as the primary news and information source for Auburn University students, staff and administration. Editor-in-Chief Miranda Dollarhide sees that these visions come to fruition, but she started out as a volunteer.
“I came in as a journalism major my freshman year and I knew that eventually I would have to write for the plainsman, says Dollarhide. “I waited for a while and then a friend of mine actually joined and I was really jealous because she wasn’t even a journalism major. So then I just decided to volunteer and next thing I knew I was associate intrigue editor.”
As a journalism major, Dollarhide not only writes for The Plainsman, but is also continually learning new journalism techniques in the classroom.
“I don’t typically plan to use what I learn in class in the office, but somehow kind of seeps in,” says Dollarhide. “I’ll hear myself saying Dr. C. said this or Professor Armstrong said that and all of a sudden we’re writing like we’re supposed to. I generally don’t think about it, I think it’s just one of those things I learn in class and all of a sudden I’m using it.”
The Plainsman upholds the highest standard of journalism and has succeeded in becoming an award-winning student publication. It is a place of learning and community for journalism, marketing, graphic art and photography.
“My favorite aspect of the newspaper is really just collaborating with the staff to come up with a good product,” says Dollarhide. “We all come together and it’s a melting of the minds, so to speak.”
At The Plainsman offices, it is not always peaceful and collective. Wednesday is busy and filled with anticipation.
“The day we go to press is a Wednesday so typically I wake up at 9 a.m. and I get in the office and make sure that most of the pages are done,” says Dollarhide. “By two, typically, I’m done with my page. Then we start editing and by 5 p.m. we send it to the press and pray it’s okay. We eventually go home around 7:30 p.m.”
With many stories in each week’s issue, some are sure to cause conflict, bring people to together, make people laugh or even lead some to tears.
“One of my favorite Plainsman articles that has been written since I’ve been editor was actually a tornado story we did,” says Dollarhide. “It happened on a Wednesday, which is the day we go to press, so we freaked out a little bit, but we got ourselves together. Our intrigue editor went out and reported it breaking news style and we got it together in maybe three hours. Really that’s one of my favorite just because of the teamwork that was involved.”
Dollarhide graduates in August and plans to do an internship in the summer. She dreams to move to New York City and do what she loves, write.
Any student can volunteer to work at The Auburn Plainsman. Go to The Plainsman office in the Student Center on Wednesdays at 7p.m. to get involved. Visit http://www.theplainsman.com for more information on the editor and newspaper.