Southeast Missouri State University student publication

The Arrow continues to look ahead in its 112th year

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The year in 1911.

Howard Taft is president, Arizona is still two years away from being admitted into the Union, and the Titanic has yet to crash into an iceberg in the north Atlantic Ocean.

The Capaha Arrow, Southeast Missouri State University’s student-run newspaper, is in its first year of existence.

First published on Feb. 1, 1911, The Capaha Arrow is one of the oldest student publications in Missouri. For 112 years of the university’s existence, the now-called Arrow has provided everything from breaking news to sports coverage from a student perspective.

Former editors said they’ve seen a great deal of change in just the past 20 years. Department of Mass Media chairperson and professor Tamara Zellars Buck served as editor during the 1994-1995 academic year.

Buck said the technology advancements have greatly improved the way the Arrow produces current content. She said she remembers designing pages on now-extinct software and manually laying out pages using border tape and wax machines.

“If we wanted to put a line down a page, we had to use border tape,” she said. “We would shoot with film, and we would have to develop the pictures. We use digital cameras now, so we get instantaneous photos.”

Another change to production has been the inclusion of the Arrow in the multimedia journalism curriculum for experiential learning opportunities. Today, the Arrow consists of paid staff, multimedia journalism majors enrolled in courses, and volunteer students who have an interest in multimedia news production.

The need for people to create content has substantially increased, Buck said, and the Arrow provides multiple ways for people to assist with content creation.

“[The Arrow] used to be a little merry band of just a few dedicated people,” she said.

Newsrooms are finding ways to evolve beyond print delivery, and the Arrow is no exception. Products like From the Newsroom, Hawks Nest, Two-Minute Warning and Arrow on the Air are audio and visual shows that supplement the bi-weekly print product. Additionally, numerous articles are posted on the website on a weekly basis.

While nobody can know for certain how media will evolve or what the Arrow will look like in the future, Arrow multimedia editor Nathan Gladden, who served as editor-in-chief from 2021 until February 2023, gave his best guess about what the Arrow will look like in the coming decades.

“I don’t know, but I think there will be more leaning on our multimedia, video, photography, audio, and that’s where the stories will show themselves," Gladden said.

Southeast Missourian sports reporter Clay Herrell, who served as Arrow sports editor from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021, said he hopes a paper version of the Arrow will continue to exist in some capacity.

“The print aspect is something I appreciate, because it helped build camaraderie between the staff,” Herrell said. “We would work on a paper at least once every two weeks for five or six hours a night building a paper, and those were some of my favorite memories.”