The Settler, Sadly, Won’t See Print

By Luis Quintanilla 

It’s official: The Settler, after years of being a physical newspaper one could pick up from various stands around campus, has succumbed to the confinement of digitalization. This was hinted in last week’s editorial, which dealt with the topic of the rapid digitalization of media and the subsequent straggling of mediums such as newspapers and other print. Now it has hit close to home.

Being digital isn’t anything new for Vol State’s student newspaper. Like any newspaper caught in the 60 ft. wave that is the digital age, it adapted with an online presence since 2012. Alongside several social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, The Settler was not a newspaper left in the stone age, but this is the first time it’s printing production has halted.

This change was expected. Plans to go only digital were in the talks for Fall 2020, but due primarily to lack of writers this semester, the newspaper had no choice but to post its stories online starting now. Again, this is nothing new. The paper has been doing so since 2012, posting all its stories found on its eight physical pages onto its website soon after print. But since there are not enough writers to cover stories to fill eight pages, print itself is no longer viable.

Journalism is important in several factors, but most importantly it serves to inform the masses, that is citizens, on the world around them and the people in it. Whether pixels on a screen or type on a thin piece of paper, the information gathered by writers to inform readers is important, even when at times it appears trivial. So to see a drop in writers for Vol State’s paper is unfortunate.

But there is two sides to this coin. Although one will no longer see copies of the Settler stacked on one another around campus, the same information held within its pages will now be found in the phone of one’s hand. Going fully digital means no longer waiting a week waiting on print, but will allow for quicker and easier access to stories and information of events going around campus. As stated in the last editorial, most people receive their news and information on their mobile devices, so hopefully an online only version of the Settler will be more handy for these people.

Still it is sad to think for the time being, copies of the Settler, a compilation of work from writers, editors, and faculty advisor Clay Scott will not see its physical manifestation on stands around campus. However, like all things the Settler will adapt.

No Screen Can Ever Replace Print

By Luis Quintanilla 

From the static hissing one hears when placing a new record on the record player to the now instantaneous playback given by simply tapping the shuffle button on one’s phone. From shelves filled with a collection of books, each of their spines vying for room, to now a nearly a limitless supply of books held within the black box in one’s pockets. From daily newspapers stacked on top each other on street corners, their bold headlines of global events drawing passerbys’ eyes as they walk on by, to nearly all of the world’s current events summed up on the front pages of social media. 

The world is more connected and  moving faster than ever before. In an unprecedented era of human history, nearly 8 billion people are connected through a global network of communication and can access any information they need or want to know within minutes, thanks in part to the internet and the digital age. Without going into a history lesson, this kind of connectivity and access to information has never quite been seen before. Up until 500 years ago, millions of people were unaware that two continents filled with their own civilizations laid beyond the western horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. Even in the European world prior to inventions like the printing press, information between other countries and even local people was not as instantaneous or encompassing as the norm has become today, messages often traveling long distances and taking days to reach the recipient. 

As humans, it is essential to us that we communicate. Again, avoiding a history lesson, this can be seen as far back as nearly 50,000 years ago in some of the earliest cave drawings according to Ancient History Encyclopedia, but that is going beyond the topic. Point being, even in these simple drawings depicting everyday concepts, humans find it necessary to communicate ideas, knowledge, news, needs, culture, among other things to aid us to better understand our world and the events and people surrounding it. 

From ancient divinations written on Chinese oracle bones to the first American newspaper published, Publick Occurrences, for thousands of years humans have been trying to find better ways to communicate. Humans were able to tap into mass communication once invention such as the Gutenberg press arose in the 15th century. This opened the door for the masses to receive information on a grand scale. This eventually evolved into newspapers and books, to radio, to tv just 80 years ago, to finally one ends up in the information age, the era the world finds itself in now. 

The information age is marked by the sophistication and increase of technology and the subsequent digitalization this has had on today’s society. Now one does not have to wait a week or even a day to receive news of events occuring on the other side of globe, anyone can simply open Twitter and know the U.S. has just killed an Iranian military official within minutes of it happening. Letters to long lost friends across the country or globe have been replaced with the sound of a sent message reading “Delivered” within seconds. 

This kind of connectivity and access the information is revolutionary, as one can connect with nearly any human in any corner of the globe instantaneously, and teach him or herself the theory of relativity somewhat proficiently by a simple Google search. However, in doing so the world should not let age old communications die out. 

In the evolving world, all media has adapted in some way. Radios now stream, TV now can be streamed on one’s phone, and even magazines such as Nat Geo post snippets of stories on Instagram, but mediums such as newspaper have felt the blow of this digitized world. Of course many newspapers stand strong to this day: US Today, The New York Times, and even local papers such as the Tennessean. However, these are big newspapers, capable of holding their own in this revolutionized world, many of them doing just fine running their news online as well.

 But for the most part, not many people take time to reach down and grab a newspaper off the stands on street corners or in store. Whatever news or information they need, they know they will find it on the TV later that night, or within minutes of checking their phone. 

The world seems keen to dive into this digital age, and there’s no stopping that accelerating train. No one can argue with its convenience and utility. Thousands of songs can be held and shuffled instantaneously on one’s phone. Reading books no longer requires flipping through cream colored pages, but instead just the swipe of a finger from side of the screen to the next. But age old mediums such as print  should not be forgotten and left as relics. For as long as humans have been around, the physical representation and embodiment of our ideas, knowledge, and culture have been written down, able for us to feel in our hands and pass onto others. It’s is seemingly in our bones to want to do so, and no amount of pixels on a screen or information up in the cloud can ever replace that.

 

Cookeville Campus to Hold Blood Drive

By: Harley Keene 

The Cookeville Volunteer State Community College campus is having a blood drive on February 12th and 13th. Per the Vol State website, this event will only take place from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The check in table will be located in the atrium, but the mobile donation center will be parked in front of the campus.

 Students who are interested in donating blood can sign up the day of at the check in table, or beforehand at bloodassurance.org/checwed or bloodassurance.org/checthur. Students must have a valid ID at the time of check in, and to be prepared, Sherrie Cannon says to “Eat a good meal, drink additional water and avoid energy drinks.”

 The blood donated will go to the Blood Assurance nonprofit, that serves healthcare facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, and North Carolina. Students who donate at this event will receive a free t-shirt that reads “LOVE TO SAVE LIVES”, as well as be entered to win a date night at a restaurant of their choice. 

Although there is not an upcoming blood drive on the Gallatin Vol State campus, there was a blood drive that took place January 21st. When asked, many students were not aware that this drive took place. Sophomore Hannah Parker said she did not know there was a blood drive but would have liked to participate. She states, “ I just don’t read my emails.” which is why she said she may have missed the notifications of the drive. To  help students know when events are happening, Parker stated, “They could get teachers to talk on it in class or put up flyers inside classrooms.”

 

Tuskegee Airmen presentation to be given at Vol State

There will be a discussion and presentation on the elite group of African American men who fought over European skies during WWII and the crews that kept their aircraft battle-ready. The discussion will take place Wednesday, Feb. 5th from 11:15 a.m. -12:30 p.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Hall – B.  Jeff King, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, will present the topic. Tuskegee Airmen Picture Display will be available. Light refreshments will be served.

Global Engagement Mixer to be held at Vol State

Promoting cross-cultural relationships on campus, the Global Engagement Mixer offers a space for international/ESOL students and domestic students to learn and share different cultures by discussing regions of the world and cultural topics affecting all students. The event will take place Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 1:00 p.m. in the Rochelle Center in the Thigpen Library.  Light refreshments will be served.