UNA Pressroom

Una Celebrates Student Press Freedom Day

Feb. 26, 2021

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256-606-2033 or 256-765-4392

FLORENCE, AL - Student Publications at the University of North Alabama celebrated Student Press Freedom Day on Friday with a ribbon cutting and tours of the newly renovated space on campus.

"Our student publications are exceptional examples of the good work our students and faculty do keep our campus informed," said Dr. Ken Kitts, UNA's President. "The updated facility provides a place to exchange ideas, share thoughts, and produce journalism that makes a difference."

The new space provides a more modern, workable space for student journalists. The dark room has also been renovated, and the Diorama will evolve into an updated publication similar to a magazine that will publish twice each year.

Student Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the odds against which students have often struggled to tell their stories. The day is another way to celebrate the success of student journalists and to understand those challenges.

"Journalism is facing numerous challenges in the United States, but UNA Student Media staff and volunteers are rising to meet them," said Dr. Butler Cain, Chair and Professor in the Department of Communications. "I'm so proud of our students' efforts. They bring energy and professionalism to their work, and it is our responsibility as a university community to mentor and empower them."

Dozens of students serve on the staffs of The Flor-Ala and the UNA yearbook, and hundreds are enrolled in the courses offered through the Department of Communications. Dr. Justin Bergh serves as an assistant professor as well as the Student Media Advisor.

"Good journalists play an essential role in a functional society," he said. "Our student journalists at UNA are no different. The work they do provides fundamental information and insight to the UNA community. I am continually impressed by their passion, professionalism, and dedication to their craft."

Among the students who serve in publications is Lavette Williams, a junior at UNA who is in her second year as the editor of The Flor-Ala.

"It is important to acknowledge student journalists, especially because we cover campus news related to the pandemic and ongoing social movements from a student perspective," she said. "I am grateful to be a part of The Flor-Ala, where I am given the opportunity to be a voice for students across campus and to be able to work with a staff who takes pride in what they do. It is The Flor-Ala staff and our advisor, Dr. Bergh, who have pushed me to be the best reporter that I can be."

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I's ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/