The College Heights Herald is the main source of news for the WKU community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and others the university affects.
The Herald is published in print on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the academic year and 24/7 through its WKUHerald digital platforms – including a pioneering college-news website and mobile app, both rated as among the best in the nation.
The Herald receives no direct funding from the university, with its full operational
costs paid from advertising revenues.
Working on the Herald is a real-world experience for the student staff members.
In the newsroom, they gather data, interview, shoot photos and video, craft stories, design pages, write headlines, proofread copy, prepare pages for digital transmission to the printer and design and manage the Herald’s website and mobile apps.
On the business side, they court clients, sell advertising, market the Herald to the community and are responsible for ensuring that revenues and expenses are in balance.
This focus is showing results. On the ground, the Herald distributes copies of each edition of the newspaper at more than 100 locations on campus and in Bowling Green. The WKUHerald.com website, the first college news website in Kentucky, attracts more than 70,000 unique visitors and 116,000 page views each month.
The Herald has won 15 national Pacemaker awards from Associated Collegiate Press,
the top honor for a student publication.
In 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16, the College Heights Herald was named the best college newspaper in Kentucky by the Kentucky Press Association.
In 2017, the Herald and reporter Nicole Ares won the Betty Gage Holland Award for the top investigative/enterprise project in collegiate journalism nationwide for the 2016-17 academic year. That project, "In the Dark," used public documents to explore what happens to faculty and staff members found to have engaged in sexual misconduct on Kentucky's eight public university campuses. Reporting on the project resulted in WKU suing the College Heights Herald in an effort to withhold records of such cases at WKU. The national Holland Award is sponsored by the Cox Institute for Journalism and the Student Press Law Center.
The reach and quality of Herald content are the key factors in maintaining advertising
revenues, which support the publication.
Herald revenues support not only the operation of the newsroom, but also provide funding to help with technology upgrades necessary each year throughout the Student Publications operation.
The Talisman is a lifestyle and culture magazine and pop-culture website run entirely
by students. It is fresh, creative, clever and insightful.
As a magazine, the Talisman is new to the scene. It launched in 2016 as the successor to WKU’s Talisman yearbook, which was regarded as the best collegiate yearbook in the country.
The magazine publishes twice a year, in November and April, while the website WKUTalisman.com is updated around the clock with fresh and engaging material that captures a slice of life on campus, in Bowling Green and Southern Kentucky.
Talisman magazine is a showcase for exquisite photography and excellent long-form storytelling from students in WKU’s acclaimed School of Journalism & Broadcasting.
Students working on the Talisman get an opportunity to oversee a complex, semester-long project of producing a magazine, which helps them develop management skills valued in the professional world, and highly prized in the nation’s news organizations.
The Talisman has a complicated history. It was published every year from 1924 through 1996, when it ceased publication. In the following seven years, there was no annual record of WKU history from the student perspective and little in the way of photographic documentation of a pivotal period in the university’s life.
With the support of WKU's then-president, Gary Ransdell, and key alumni, the Talisman was revived in 2003 and continued publishing as a top quality yearbook -- and the keeper of WKU history from a student point-of-view -- until its final edition in 2016.
Throughout its history, Talisman has always maintained a national stature. It has accumulated 18 Pacemaker awards among scores of other national honors.
The Talisman remains on the cutting edge of what a university publication can be.
College Heights Media launched in 2012 to increase the number and types of opportunities available to students at WKU Student Publications, as well as to enhance revenues that support our flagship publications.
During that time, College Heights Media has published two books – A Beautiful Spirit, a pictorial history of WKU’s scenic campus, and Western on the Lite-Side, a collection of humorous anecdotes from Dr. Raymond Cravens. It also published a guide to the new Downing Student Union and annual booklets for WKU’s Parent and Family Weekend, as well as providing website design and creative services to several private clients.
Students participating in CHM projects get the opportunity to work on publications for clients and to develop skills that neither the Herald nor the Talisman offer.
Projects are considered based on opportunities they will bring for students as well as the availability of professional staff to oversee the work.
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