Campus media may soon combine the efforts of KBEACH 88.1 FM, Union Weekly and College Beat TV under one name – 22 West Media.
“It’s the hope that more students are going to consume and find their content more relevant,” said James Ahumada, ASI Communications Manager who is also overseeing the merger.
KBEACH, Union Weekly and College Beat TV are all student-run media outlets that provide content: radio discussions, articles and videos related to campus events, current events, entertainment and other topics in the campus community’s interest.
Ahumada said that they have always shared each other’s work when it comes to discussing events and topics on campus. The idea of merging student media has been a topic for the media managers and ASI for the past two years but has now started to take action last summer under the new management.
“There’s not too many campus media outlets that do this on other campuses.” Ahumada said.
22 West Media is a project still in the making as media managers are working together to create proposals to convince members under the Student Media Board of Trustees that will be voting to approve or reject the plan.
“It’s going to be something different,” said Alejandro Ramos, the editor in chief of Union Weekly.
Ramos is concerned about the merge because he feels that it may begin to limit the type of content that Union Weekly provides. He says the publication holds a welcoming background that accepts submissions from students of different majors and backgrounds. Ramos emphasized that Union Weekly was different from other publications because of this quality and is worried that they’ll have to sacrifice it if the merger goes through.
“We’re going to have to leave some of the stuff that made Union Weekly what it was.” Ramos said.
The school media has been attempting to formalize what they’ve already been doing already, according to Ahumada, who is also in favor of this plan going through.
“It’s definitely going to be something for [students] to use to prepare themselves for their careers,” Ahumada said.
Most of the students working for campus media use the experience they gain to prepare themselves for careers in radio, print and broadcast media. In another article on KBeach, student and radio host Fernando Avila said that “camaraderie in student media has increased over the years” as outlets have worked on multiple collaboration projects.
Managers of campus media are all agreed that they want to combine the three outlets into one organization but are still debating how the group and the content is to be structured.
In the most recent ASI Senate meeting, those working at 22 West Media will create surveys for students to measure their interests in the type of content they would prefer to see. Promotional items for the new media agency are planned to be given out next semester during the Week of Welcome.
Whether or not the merge between media outlets is to be approved, in the case of Union Weekly, Ramos says that students are still welcome to volunteer and intern for positions to gain possible career experience.
22 West Media will be releasing their website on April 22 for any of those who are interested in getting involved or in becoming their new audience.