Benefits of Student Publications Stand the Test of Time

For more than 75 years, Gardner-Webb students have worked to cover campus and community news through The Pilot—the original student newspaper—and its digital successor,, which began in 2010.

Whether majoring in communications, business, accounting, GWU-Today staffers agree that producing multi-media news stories for the digital publication has provided them with tremendous hands-on, journalism experiences that transcend the boundaries of the traditional classroom environment.

“While researching for articles, I have been able to make connections across campus with students, staff, and faculty members that I likely would not have encountered otherwise,” shared senior journalism major Chelsea Sydnor. “It’s great preparation for networking now and in the future.”

Junior Madison Weavil is a business major, but she hopes to launch a photography business after graduation. “The reason I got involved with GWU-Today is because I have a passion for photography but as a business major didn’t have many options for outlets for my skill,” she offered. “This program has let me get a taste for all of the many different areas of photography and find what I would truly like to do in the field.”

Students appreciate the one-on-one help they get from faculty mentor Dr. Bob Carey and from fellow classmates. “I enjoy photography, and I wanted to work with Dr. Carey and learn all I could,” reflected Sarah Schurman ’19, a graphics design major. “It has been a great way to prepare me for a future job—having deadlines, taking criticism, and learning to improve my work.”

Jenna Shackelford has her sights set on graduation in the fall and is really excited about entering the workforce as a journalist. “GWU-Today has given me a glimpse of what the job of a journalist can look like,” she explained. “We learn to coordinate and communicate with each other. We shoot pictures and videos of events. We interview people and write stories. When we leave GWU-Today, we have photos and stories that we worked hard on to show what we’re capable of.”

Senior Sthefany Flores, also a journalism major, agrees. “GWU-Today has allowed me to begin reporting in a comfortable space where mistakes can be made, and there is a group of people with me to help me grow and improve my writing,” Flores stated. “This group has allowed me to build up my portfolio and has given me hands-on experience in my intended career field.”

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