The Bell Tower Online
During the summer of 2011, work began to move the Freed-Hardeman student newspaper, The Bell Tower, to an online format. The purpose of this project was to give the newspaper a new, easily accessible format in order to reach a greater number of readers.
Derrick Spradlin, faculty advisor for The Bell Tower, states:
"We decided to move The Bell Tower from a print to an online publication for two reasons.
First, the online version will allow us to reach a wider audience. FHU’s extended family stretches all over the world. Now The Bell Tower gives alumni, parents, prospective students, fans, as well as current students, an immediate, up-to-date link to campus, and it delivers that news in the online environment that we have come to expect. We live in an age during which more and more people—and certainly almost all college-aged Americans—get their news from online sources. While it will take some time to get used to not having hard copies of The Bell Tower available around campus, and while many of us feel a strong nostalgia for the local newspaper to arrive on our doorstep every morning, most of us still turn first to the internet for our news. Like many other newspapers that have moved online, perhaps an online version of The Bell Tower is simply a sign of the times.
Our second reason for moving online has to do with the mission of the university to prepare our students for their professional lives. The Bell Tower is run by students. For the students who report, write, edit, take photographs, publicize, and manage for The Bell Tower, doing these jobs for an online publication gives them training and resumé-building experience that is far more in line with what employers now want and expect from college graduates than what a traditional print publication has to offer."
The launch of The Bell Tower website was an exciting moment for many of our campus community, especially the newspaper staff. Shelby Jumper, staff writer, states:
"With The Bell Tower being online, it will give more people accessibility to read about what is going on here at FHU. Alumni and parents will be able to read it whenever they want. For the writers and editors, I think it will help make building a portfolio easier and will give a way for potential employers to easily access their work. I think all the new developments will help propel The Bell Tower to the next level. I'm excited to see what's around the corner for us."
The Bell Tower can be accessed by going to http://fhu.edu/belltower.