Next semester, a new section will be coming to the Miami Student: GreenHawks.
Currently an independent student publication at Miami University centered on sustainability and the environment, GreenHawks Media will merge with The Miami Student and continue covering climate-related issues around Oxford and beyond.
Sam Norton, a sophomore biology major with an environmental science co-major and a minor in journalism, is the current editor-in-chief of GreenHawks and an opinion columnist for The Student. Norton will continue serving as the editor for the GreenHawks section of The Student next semester.
Norton said it was GreenHawks’ previous editor-in-chief, Morgan Schneider, who came up with the idea for the merger.
“She had been talking with [Annie-Laurie] Blair, who’s our faculty advisor, about what was going to happen after Professor Blair retired, and that was an idea that floated around,” Norton said. “I was on board with it right away because I had written for The Student, and so I was very happy about it.”
Norton said another reason for the merger was GreenHawks' struggles with maintaining output and writers. With The Student, Norton hopes he’ll be able to recruit more writers and deliver content to a broader audience.
“I’ll have access to some people who already write for The Student who want to dabble in environment-related content,” Norton said. “I’m also hoping more people will see the option of writing for GreenHawks and feel confident that what they’re writing will have a platform.”
Blair, a senior clinical lecturer of journalism, said although she’s sad to leave her role as advisor for GreenHawks, she’s excited to see it start a new chapter.
“I am so thrilled that GreenHawks is joining TMS,” Blair said. “As I retire, that just makes me happy and confident that it’s going to continue to be successful.”
Blair said merging with The Student will allow GreenHawks to achieve its aims.
“GreenHawks has always been about elevating the student’s voice on campus on sustainability and environmental science issues,” Blair said. “There is certainly enormous student interest out there, so I think the visibility of The Miami Student will really help the stories get more traction.”
Sean Scott, editor-in-chief of The Student, said he hopes the merger will boost coverage of sustainability issues and help localize national climate discussions.
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“We’ve run stories like that in the past in our news section, but if you look at the New York Times or The Washington Post and all of these national news organizations, they have dedicated environment and climate sections now,” Scott said. “So being able to have that in our publication will help us stay on top of issues that are very important moving forward.”
Scott said having GreenHawks as its own section has additional benefits.
“When you run them with [Campus & Community], you run the risk of them getting lost with all the other news, and you run the risk of everyone coming at it from a journalistic standpoint instead of a scientific one,” Scott said. “As a dedicated section, I’m hoping we’ll attract more writers who are interested in science and come from that background and can improve the accuracy and breadth of our coverage.”
The GreenHawks section will also bring more consistent, focused coverage of local efforts around sustainability, including what Oxford and Miami are doing and what could be improved. Rather than being written on an as-pitched basis, an entire page will be dedicated to these kinds of stories in every print issue.
Katie Gabe, a junior biology major and sustainability co-major, said she is looking forward to seeing what The Student does with GreenHawks.
“The only reason I knew about [GreenHawks] was because I was searching for green organizations to join, but I think if they’re in a bigger platform like The Student, which most people on campus know about, they’ll be able to have a wider reach,” Gabe said.
Blair said she’s confident in Norton’s ability to successfully lead GreenHawks through this transition.
“[Norton] is a student of mine right now in journalism [JRN] 201, and he’s just done an outstanding job in that class,” Blair said. “He has a gift for storytelling, and that’s going to serve him well with GreenHawks and with The Student, so it’s the best of both worlds.”