While all face-to-face instruction at Michigan State University has been suspended and much of MSU’s daily operations are being conducted remotely, The State News team has continued its news coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic and the person helping to lead this effort is Madison O’Connor, Editor-in-Chief of The State News, a senior who is double majoring in Journalism and Experience Architecture (XA).
The State News has ceased its printed product for now and is publishing all its news online while the work for this is all being done remotely.
I definitely think the experiences I have gained in the XA major have helped a ton with being able to continue producing content for readers that they connect with and learn from.
O’Connor has found her Experience Architecture education to be really valuable at this time when everything is being done remotely and online.
“It is really important during this time to be thinking about how we are connecting with the readers and how we are telling these stories, not just the content side of how the stories are, but how the readers are experiencing and consuming them through different platforms whether that is the website or the digital print product or social media,” O’Connor said. “I definitely think the experiences I have gained in the XA major have helped a ton with being able to continue producing content for readers that they connect with and learn from.”
When MSU first announced that all classes would be done remotely as of noon on Wednesday, March 11, The State News was working on its printed issue that goes out every Thursday. With this announcement, The State News team worked to keep the student newspaper going while transitioning to remote-only work.
“It’s come with its challenges, and it’s harder to get ahold of people sometimes,” O’Connor said. “I also miss all [The State News team] a lot. We have Zoom hangouts, but it has been really different and challenging to move everything online.”
The State News now uses Slack to help keep the team organized and in communication with one another. They also have weekly staff meetings via Zoom.
“There are a lot of different factors that are changing people’s lives dramatically right now, and one of the challenges is making sure everybody is okay and is healthy and safe and has everything they need,” O’Connor said. “That is one of the things that is really important in a workplace is having that support and those people that you can lean on.”
O’Connor has another year at MSU and is looking forward to seeing The State News team again when it is safe to do so.
(TOP IMAGE: A recent weekly staff meeting of “The State News” team on Zoom.)