By: Johnny Lawhon
When it comes to the future of any organization, one has to look at several different aspects. Sometimes you can take a look at the past, and see what the organization once was, then compare it to what it is at that very moment. Then, it might be possible to see what the future might hold for that organization.
Original Graphic by Johnny Lawhon.
For the Eternal Flame Magazine, it appears that the future is bright, and the possibilities of what the publication might become are truly endless. First, taking a look into the past, the Eternal Flame wasn’t always a magazine that published content every semester. It was once a yearly publication that was more like a yearbook. Dr. Stephanie Williams-Turkowski, a past staff member of the Eternal Flame said that it wasn’t like your typical yearbook, but it was more like a time capsule.
Williams-Turkowski said, “It’s a really neat concept, I think to be able to look back and see all the different things that were going on, not just in the Mass Comm department, but all over campus.”
Furthermore, at that time some students joined the Eternal Flame because they thought of the publication as being a fun club. Some students volunteered, some were staff, and some took it as a class. However, each student was involved, and it appeared to be one great big media family. David Meraz, past staff member and previous Editor of the Eternal Flame said when he was involved with the publication, the social media component was in its infancy, and he was grateful to be able to help get that up and running.
“All we had was Facebook, and that grew a ton because we had 15 people on staff, and by staff, I mean either the class, just the extracurricular club, and then of course the paid staff.” David Meraz said.
Image taken from Eternal Flame Facebook Page.
Meraz also said there wasn’t an event that the Eternal Flame did not have a presence on campus. Therefore, it appears that at that time the Eternal Flame had a huge impact on the campus community, and they had a great time being a part of the publication.
Another past staff member, Abigail Betts, first came on as a student, then applied for Assistant Editor, then became Editor. Betts also talked about what it was like to hold the printed copy of the publication that the staff members had been working so hard on.
Betts said. “Getting to hold that magazine that we just did as a crew, like students just getting it done. Because the first time it was a struggle, we just had to fight tooth and nail to get it done, and really seeing like as students we can do this. We can come together, we can pull other students together, and get this done.”
But looking further ahead, after the Eternal Flame became an actual magazine. The publication branched out to other social media platforms, mainly Twitter and Instagram. Mallory Grimm, another past staff member, took on multiple roles as she helped manage the Instagram account in addition to writing feature stories at the magazine. During her time at the magazine, it was a smaller staff, but that didn’t stop them from getting things done and getting to know each other on a personal level.
“I really enjoyed getting to personally know each of the staff members, and a big thing that I really liked doing was introducing them or featuring them on our website, or on the website saying this is who they are,” Grimm said.
Now, looking towards the future, what path should the Eternal Flame take to become the best magazine it can possibly be? I believe the answer is simply this, continue to be a huge presence on campus and make the students of the college feel connected. Continue to look at staff members as a media family, and make sure everyone feels included. Continue to do what it takes to gain a larger following on social media by making the viewers aware that we do care about them and the content we publish. Moving forward, the Eternal Flame can continue to be a beacon light for aspiring media students to publish their works for the world to see. The Eternal Flame is here, and it is here to stay.
Original Graphic taken from Eternal Flame Facebook Page.