Staff for The Round Up at New Mexico State University announced monumental changes that will be taking place to the student paper in the 2016-2017 school year.
The Round Up has officially eliminated “Oncore”, the monthly publication that it produced last year, its first year of creation. The change has been spearheaded by an entirely new management that has inherited the entity, with Executive Director Corey Stevens and Editor-in-Chief Albert Luna leading the organization.
“The Round Up has been an esteemed tradition, and student voice of NMSU since 1907. To take that away from the University is simply insane and my staff and I have honorably revitalized the rich tradition of The Round Up” Stevens said.
“Oncore was received very poorly” Luna said, “It never connected with what students truly care about, which is news that is relevant to them, instead it was a glorified national blog that focused on ‘food, fitness, and fashion’.”
The former monthly magazine, which replaced The Round Up’s standard weekly news print, was able to produce just eight magazines with two of those being special edition graduation programs. The magazine included a full gloss paper finish with typically 22 pages in each issue.
The new product The Round Up will be producing will be a weekly, 24-page publication, named “The Round Up”. The cover and back pages will continue to be gloss finished while the inside pages will be newspaper style paper, while being staple-bound together.
The first issue will come out on Monday, August, 15th, 2016, to correlate with the arriving of students back to campus for the fall semester. The Newspaper will come out ever Monday throughout the semester from there, with the second issue debuting on August 29th, and new content being produced weekly thereafter until the Thanksgiving holiday break.
The Round Up will also be launching an entirely new website – nmsuroundup.net – that is set to launch the same week as the first issue, with updated content, and features.
Additionally, The Round Up will also be piloting the launch of a mobile phone application that will allow students to download the news app on Google Play and iTunes, respectively. The App will also allow students to receive push notifications directly to their phones by subscribing to different categories of their interest. The application is set to launch in early-mid September. The entity has also completely redesigned their social media accounts.
“We know that news media is changing, we are by no means trying to be closed minded, but we really think the different ways we are reaching out to people is a good compromise between traditional media consumption and the new direction that consumers are wanting.” Luna said.
Established in January 1891, just three years after the University’s founding, the New Mexico Collegian was the first publication to circulate the institution known at the time as the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanics.
The New Mexico Collegian remained the campus’ sole student newspaper until the production of the College Weekly in 1906.
Under the supervision of Editor-in-Chief Justin R. Weddell and Associate Editor George G. Helde, the two publications were merged and formed what is known today as The Round Up. The name the “Round Up” was chosen for its concise description of the paper’s contents; “a weekly round-up of news” as well as “a rounding up of subscribers and advertisers”, while also paying homage to the university’s agrarian roots.
With the current revamping, the newspaper has also created an entirely new editorial structure divided into four departments: Sports (reporting on Aggie Athletics), Cultural (covering students “outside of the classroom”), Academic News (reporting on the individual colleges and student inside the classroom), and Legal (covering student government, the Board of Regents, etc.).
Stevens is in charge of all business, personnel, and financial decisions. Luna, on the other hand, is head of the content and editorial departments.
“There’s only three individuals that worked for us last year that are holdovers, myself included.” Luna said. “It truly is an entirely new team that we have, and I have seen more traffic and dialogue around the office this summer than I saw the entire year before” he explained.
Now in its 109th year of operation, The Round Up has asserted itself as an independent, uncensored and reliable asset to New Mexico State University.
Stevens believes that this change will resonate with students well, “Our students will feel better served because the product will feature them, every time. It’s about our students and the issues that affect them.”
The Executive Director also said that this year will be widely different from “Oncore” in terms of expectations, “We rebranded, we have a new staff, a new mission statement, and business model structure. Different isn’t defined as a complete change; but growing and allowing room for improvement. That’s what The Round Up will promise this year; a different vision with the same history and journalistic integrity.”