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Onward State’s Resolution for the New Year

This fall was Onward State’s second full semester at Penn State. Our readers are probably aware that we spent much of it preparing to become a business. We have paused those plans.

Onward State is not unique in our approach to covering the news; we are hardly the first to crossbreed snark with objectivity. New (and old) media outlets all over the world been forced to develop new paradigms of entrepreneurial journalism. Reacting to this new era is occasionally fruitful, but always tentative. Frankly, nobody knows what the media will look like five years from now.

The economy of production enjoyed by Onward State affords us more time to develop our editorial operation and define a role for ourselves before incorporation. We want to be a trust-worthy source for information about Penn State and the Penn State community. Our content is neither reserved and “objective” like the Collegian’s nor party-line like Penn State Live’s press releases articles. We are loyal to the university as an enduring institution.

The Head Master of The Lawrenceville School, a prep school in New Jersey, was once asked to define his school. I’ve internalized his response as central to my life philosophy. “Lawrenceville,” he said, “is not the bricks and mortar of the English building, nor the dining halls and playing fields. It’s not the chapel and it’s not the classroom. Lawrenceville is simply the aggregate of the relationships between all members of her community, between teachers, students, parents, and alumni.”

It is in that spirit that Onward State aims to excel. We want to utilize the revolutionary communications technology that the past decade has seen come to fruition to further the Penn State community, to provide a space for us to come together and discuss issues regardless of their triviality or import.

We want to be part of the Penn State community. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to achieve this. We’ve made mistakes made mistakes, but we’ve also proved that we can cover the most profound issues our community faces in ways that old media simply cannot.

I’m excited to introduce the ideas we’ll be implementing come the start of second semester. You’ll get your first taste of them next week when we introduce a new site design that will make discussion and community generated content even more central to the Onward State experience. Until then, we’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

Next week we will be releasing a new site design that will make community even more central to the Onward State experience.

About the Author


Creator of @OnwardState. Big fan of sweaters.


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10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

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