The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint: Overcoming barriers of online journalism

Photo courtesy by absolutVision

Jose Romero
senior editor

Man, being an online-only journalist is difficult. 

These past two semesters, The Collegian has done everything virtually. From interviews to staff meetings, there hasn’t been a single piece of work done face-to-face. 

In journalism, the human element of a story is important and can sometimes make or break an article. Gathering that element is an Olympian task virtually.

Social cues have to be understood through a screen, and everything a person is saying has to be gathered verbatim. A factor almost always in play is the technical hiccups that come with apps like Microsoft Teams and Google Meets. 

Far too many times, something important is cut into bits because someone’s internet decides it doesn’t want to work correctly. 

Setting up these meetings isn’t any easier. 

Writing a story while having to rely on the person’s ability to respond through email is nerve-racking. Responsiveness is a factor in any kind of story, physically or virtually. But in a physical format, I can show up to the campus or classroom and speak to a source directly. It’s much easier to get someone to speak if they’re in the room. There have been countless times throughout the semester in which a story I’m writing has to change direction because somebody won’t respond, sometimes even after setting up an interview. 

Photo courtesy by Andrew Neel/ Unsplash

With all that said, I think the staff has done a great job working under these circumstances.

Each week, diverse articles have been published, telling stories from all campuses. Stories covering unique individuals or school politics, there’s no limit to the stories that have been told. 

For a while, things didn’t seem as if they were getting any better, but with vaccination rollouts and a decline in COVID-19 cases in Texas, things are looking up. 

I am unable to say how the situation is going to be next semester, but finally being able to sit down with the TCC community will be a breath of fresh air. 

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