When passing out the newest edition of Journey, Florida A&M University’s student magazine, we received different responses from many individuals.
Most of the students who received it pretty much enjoyed it. But the feedback we received from most of our professors in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication was unsettling. From “you guys are pushing the envelope” to “we can’t use this for recruitment,” I began to second-guess myself. Editor-in-Chief Yewande Addie and I knew there was going to be some backlash from the faculty when the issue was published. Quite frankly, there always is.
We read Cosmopolitan, Maxim and Esquire to get professional examples of how to do an adult-oriented issue. In the end, we liked the final product.
So it was discontenting that many of our teachers disapproved, especially of the face-off between Mind, Body and Soul editor Kiffani Jones and I.
I thought, “Did we really mess up?” Then something struck me; we addressed issues that are pertinent to our constituency.
The topics in the magazine are relevant to a lot of the students on our campus.
We work to serve the student body first, because without them there would be no Journey.
It’s through student Activity and Service fees that we are able to function. It’s our duty to produce a publication that is relevant to you and filled with information that you would want to read. From sexually transmitted infections to an individual in a down-low relationship, we covered it all. And, why not?
The reasoning for presenting these types of issues is explained in the letter to the editor on the first page. Unfortunately most readers skip right over it and go straight to the face-off. They don’t even read the controversial article that I wrote, they just read the headline about oral sex and start complaining.
We decided to tackle some issues that we felt weren’t being covered by other mediums. Some of our content may seem risqué, but it’s 2008, not 1968.
Keep in mind this is a generation that was taught sex education in elementary school.
We don’t represent black college students everywhere nor do we represent black people everywhere.
The views and opinions that appear in Journey belong to those who penned them. For those who are interested in affecting change in our publication or have constructive criticism, feel free to send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also on page 18 of the latest issue, the model pictured (Bianca Savant) is not “Sheila” and is in no way associated with the story.
Wesley Martin is senior magazine production major from Miami. He can be reached at email@example.com.