The Cougar's Byte
What is The Cougar's Byte?
The Cougar’s Byte is a Leadership and Service newsletter where students, faculty and staff will find information on all things related to student life at Kean University.
The Cougar’s Byte covers campus events and issues of interest and significance to the Kean community. Students assist with making all decisions related to its publication, including making assignments, reporting, writing, taking photographs, copyediting, designing pages and distributing the paper throughout the campus community.
Our newsletter publishes biweekly in print and almost daily online during the fall and spring semesters and is distributed free throughout the campus community. The content of our print edition is supplemented by our online edition, located at www.cougarsbyte.com, which is distributed electronically to all students, faculty, staff and other registered users.
Our readers include more than 15,000 students, faculty and staff of Kean University, as well as prospective students, families, board members, higher education representatives from other colleges and universities, community leaders, government officials and others with an interest in the University. Meeting the needs of that diverse community is our guiding principle in everything from news play and content selection to editorial policy. The Cougar’s Byte writers cover all levels of campus government, academic issues, student activities, and the people who work and study here.
The mission of The Cougar’s Byte is to promote the diverse opportunities for student involvement at Kean University including academic programs, academic activities, athletics, campus news, co-curricular workshops, cultural events, leadership development and various other resources.
The staff of The Cougar’s Byte is dedicated to facilitating student awareness of their community, enriching their collegiate experience, and contributing to their personal, emotional, cultural, social and psychological development.
The Cougar’s Byte has two primary goals:
- To provide the Kean community with a professional-quality news publication that offers full and accurate coverage of campus life.
- To train students in the discipline of media communications and to emphasize the professional as well as academic approach to those principles.
The Cougar’s Byte is staffed by very dedicated Kean University students. These students represent various areas of Kean University; they support involvement as testament to their own experiences and through their work as staff members. Members of the staff are commuters, residents, Greeks, resident assistants, elected student government officials, club and organization members, community service advocates and scholars. Although members of the staff have been English, communication or graphic design majors, many staff members have also majored in history, public administration, management science, biology, sociology, psychology, media and film, theatre, education and many others.
The Cougar’s Byte provides a unique experience for our students to gain professional skills, become part of a team, and develop their leadership abilities while having fun by doing what they enjoy.
The Cougar’s Byte is produced during the fall and spring semesters as a result of the commitment of a team. Members of the staff understand the role and need of teamwork. There are many students who contribute to The Cougar’s Byte each week ultimately allowing us to produce our biweekly print issue, the weekly Byte Size email edition and our daily online publication.
Senior Editor and Editors
The senior editor and editors work with staff writers to assign articles, generate story ideas, edit articles for publication, provide training and assistance to staff members and provide the leadership for The Cougar’s Byte editorial team. These students are generally experienced members of the staff and upperclassmen.
The staff writers, as well as the editors, produce the content of The Cougar’s Byte weekly. These students are expected to propose story ideas, cover events and activities, conduct interviews and prepare articles for publication in The Cougar’s Byte.
In addition to an editorial team that consists of writers and editors, The Cougar’s Byte maintains a graphic design team. Consisting of graphic design specialists and a graphic design and marketing manager, this team is responsible for working with the editorial team to produce the biweekly print and online edition of The Cougar’s Byte. These students are trained extensively on using industry-standard graphic design software and equipment. In addition to layout of our print edition, they are also responsible for creating print and online advertisements.
Aside from producing The Cougar’s Byte, the graphic design staff also works regularly with Kean University departments and student groups to create promotional materials such as flyers and brochures and provides photography support at campus events.
The Cougar’s Byte also contains a creative media team. Consisting of creative media specialists and a creative media manager, this team is responsible for working with the editorial and design teams to produce video content for the Byte Size and online edition of The Cougar’s Byte. These students are trained extensively on using video editing software and equipment. In addition to collaborating with the team, they are also responsible for creating video and media advertisements. The creative media staff also works regularly with Kean University departments and student groups to create promotional materials such as public service advertisements and provides video support at campus events. To view videos produced by The Cougar's Byte creative media team, please view our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/cougarsbyte.
Anyone wishing to join The Cougar’s Byte staff may apply; space on the staff is limited. All applicants undergo an interview process. Applications are available online through Cougar Link under the Center for Leadership and Service and can be found on the CLS Jobs page. Advertisements will also be placed within the print edition and online. Within the staff, there are several leadership roles for students, such as senior editor, editor, graphic design manager and creative media manager. Students serving in these roles, which are also selected through an internal interview and promotion process, work with all staff writers, graphic design specialists and creative media specialist to provide leadership to The Cougar’s Byte.
Development and Training
Members of The Cougar’s Byte staff undergo an extensive training program. Given the nature of the communication industry, the training program is constantly evolving and expanding. Aside from preparing the editorial team on writing styles, Associated Press (AP) standards and interviewing, The Cougar’s Byte also prepares its staff for ethical decision making, leadership and time management. Additionally, these members are trained on using an online content management system to produce the online version of The Cougar’s Byte.
The graphic design team is trained on industry-standard graphic design software such as the Adobe Creative Suite, primarily focusing on Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In addition, as the role of the graphic design staff expands, they are also trained on using an online content management system to produce the online version of The Cougar’s Byte, using advanced camera equipment to capture still photos, social media, and overall marketing and advertising.
The creative media team is given a comprehensive training on social media, video production and video editing through software such as FinalCut Pro and Motion. Also, training is provided on the use of advanced video cameras and recording equipment.
As a component of the Center for Leadership and Service, the staff of The Cougar’s Byte is also trained on general office policies and procedures, community service and leadership development.
The staff of The Cougar’s Byte undergoes an employee performance evaluation each semester. The performance evaluation consists of a self-evaluation and a peer review. The staff members meet with a professional staff member to go over their performance evaluation and develop a performance improvement strategy as needed. The evaluation process is designed to further develop each individual staff member in an effort to prepare him or her for the professional world.
The Cougar’s Byte does not accept external advertising. Space permitting, The Cougar’s Byte is available to assist Kean University departments, offices and student organizations with their advertising. All requests for advertising from organizations and individuals unaffiliated with Kean University’s departments, offices or student groups should be directed to the Kean University student newspaper, The Tower. The Tower can be reached by calling (908) 737-0468, visiting www.keantower.com or by emailing email@example.com.
Space in both the print edition and the online edition is extremely limited. To request advertising space, the prospective advertiser should contact the director of the Center for Leadership and Service as soon as possible. Issue layout planning begins approximately two weeks prior to the publication date.
Avenues for Submission
Advertising can be arranged through three avenues:
- Text advertising written into the form of an article and submitted electronically to The Cougar’s Byte at firstname.lastname@example.org. All text advertisements should conform to The Cougar’s Byte article standards. The Cougar’s Byte reserves the right to edit all text advertising submissions for length, grammar and content. The final text will only be sent to the advertising requestor for print approval if necessary or if it is explicitly requested by the advertising requestor.
- Advertisements can be designed by the prospective advertiser, under the guidelines established by The Cougar’s Byte herein, and submitted for print as is. The advertisement must be submitted electronically to The Cougar’s Byte. The Cougar’s Byte does not accept physical (paper) copies of advertisements for print. All prospective advertisers should contact The Cougar’s Byte prior to designing the advertisement to confirm size and placement of the design and to reserve space. Advertisements that are created and submitted prior to reserving space may not be printed.
- Advertisements can be designed by the graphic design staff of The Cougar’s Byte at the request of the prospective advertiser. After reserving the advertisement space, all information (text and images) must be submitted electronically to The Cougar’s Byte, at email@example.com, at least two weeks prior to the publication date. Once designed by the graphic design staff, the advertisement will be submitted for print. The final advertisement will only be sent to the advertising requestor for print approval if necessary or if it is explicitly requested by the advertising requestor.
A complete copy of The Cougar’s Byte Advertising Policy, including publication dates and submission deadlines, can be obtained by contacting The Cougar’s Byte, located in Miron Student Center, room 215, by calling (908) 737-5179 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cougar's Byte online edition can be viewed online at http://www.cougarsbyte.com.
The Cougar's Byte welcomes feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to contact us at the information provided below.
The Cougar's Byte
c/o Center for Leadership and Service
Miron Student Center, room 215
1000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
P: (908) 737-5179
F: (908) 737-5175