Recognizing Bill Broun: A Letter of Appreciation from the Managing Editor of The Stroud Courier

By William Cameron
Managing Editor

Effectively reporting the news demands a significant investment of time and energy.

The demand is greater still for a reporter unfamiliar with conventional practices of the industry.

The Stroud Courier aims to prepare students for the competitive world of professional journalism, but we could not offer such an experience without the guidance of an invested adviser.

English professor Bill Broun joined The Stroud Courier family at the beginning of last semester.

His appointment followed the retirement of our able and beloved long-time adviser Fred Misurella.

Continuity can prove troublesome for any student-run organization; a college newspaper is no exception.

The impermanence of a student staff creates a revolving door workplace.

A change in institutional leadership can threaten to compound these difficulties further.

Our staff encountered a significant turnover in recent months.

A majority of our board members began the semester with little to no experience in their positions.

This lack of familiarity presented a barrage of obstacles, but it also offered the opportunity to start anew.

Broun’s fresh perspective gave our publication a new set of critical eyes, a daunting, yet exciting prospect.

Each of our club’s weekly meetings yields valuable feedback from our adviser.

After every publication, Broun offers a constructive balance of encouragement with his evaluation.

I wish to emphasize that these reviews follow publication and, more importantly, why they do.

Every issue receives a review, and all reviews precede layout of the next issue, but never does our adviser interrupt the process of our publication.

Broun welcomes us to consult him, but reserves unsolicited judgment. He gives us space to function independently.

“Honestly, this is very much the legacy of Fred Misurella,” says Broun.

“Student autonomy was always one of the big things Fred emphasized in ‘showing me the ropes’ to advising, and the wisdom and courage of that advice seem more profound every month. He was deeply committed to students developing their own voices.”

We have room to make mistakes, but also room to grow. The progression of our newspaper this semester is testament to that growth.

I call it “our” paper, but, as an informed reader, it’s worth your observation that the ownership I refer to includes you. The benefits of a college newspaper are not exclusive to its members.

To continue our existence as the student voice of East Stroudsburg University, our newspaper needs a solid foundation.

I’m proud to say that this semester, with the support of our adviser, Student Senate and the Student Activities Association (SAA), our editorial board has taken steps to ensuring that future.

In just his first year as our adviser, Broun has taken a bold initiative: advocating for a progressive restructuring of our organization.

Addressing such updates proved daunting. Broun and members of our board consulted the wisdom of SAA administrators Joseph Akob and John Robinson to facilitate the process.

Broun provided indispensable counsel as we drafted the much-needed amendments to our club constitution.

With the attentive guidance of SAA, our board has nearly completed a revised draft we hope to soon submit for Student Senate approval.

In the relatively short time I’ve known him, Broun has made every visible effort to make himself available to students, both as an adviser and an educator.

Over the course of the semester, I’ve had many fortunate opportunities to speak with him.

We’ve shared numerous conversations on topics ranging from journalistic ethics to content layout.

I recall only a single instance in which I dismissed Broun’s counsel.

It occurred during a call I made to consult him about amendments to our club’s policies.

During our conversation, I referred to Broun as an “expert in the news business.” He denied my claim with modesty.

I would argue still that I undersold him then.

Broun brings a wealth of news experience to The Stroud Courier.

His history includes published writing in some of the nation’s most well-known newspapers. He has also held staff positions at major British publications.

Adding to his career beyond writing news, Broun’s debut novel is set for release this summer.

Reflecting on the semester, I look back at our first issue with renewed ambition.

This, our final issue of the semester, is evidence of change.

Today, I am proud to see my name printed among my fellow board members and a trusted faculty adviser.

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