Northeastern Illinois University has established student media organizations as an integral part of its responsibility for enhancing student life. Student Leadership Development facilitates the work of four student-run media organizations:
- The Independent, a student-run newspaper that covers campus news and features arts and human interest stories plus opinion pieces
- Seeds, a literary and visual arts journal
- Que Ondee Sola, the oldest Puerto Rican and Latina/o student magazine in the United States
- WZRD, a 100-watt campus radio station, featuring an eclectic “freeform” format of music, live performances and interviews and news and commentaries on current events
More than 100 students from all Northeastern locations actively take part in student media work during a typical academic year. At the beginning of every semester, Student Leadership Development and the Coordinator of Student Media host Meet the Media Night, which features presentations from each of the student media organizations, plus a special guest speaker discussing their career in the media and offering students advice and encouragement. In recent years, Northeastern has hosted guest speakers from top Chicago media outlets including WBEZ-FM (NPR), Newsradio 780 WBBM, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, CAN-TV and the suburban Journal and Topics Media Group.
Through participation in student media, students gain hands-on experience and build their resumes and a portfolio of work. They learn through peer-training from student editors, managers and directors and also from working media professionals, while they develop and enhance the skills they gain in the classroom. Some students attend state and national conventions, where they receive critiques of their work, compete against other universities’ publications and learn from Pulitzer-winning journalists and acclaimed writers and media personalities.
Student Leadership Development and the student media organizations at Northeastern regularly partner with faculty and staff in the Community, Media and Theatre and English departments and the ENLACE and Proyecto Pa’Lante programs.
The NEIU Student Media Board, which consists of student representatives from each media organization and their chosen faculty/staff advocates, supports a nurturing environment for University-supported, student-run media of both print and broadcast mediums and their online components and affirms the value of freedom of expression and diversity of opinion. The Student Media Board also facilitates working partnerships between the media organizations.
As per the Illinois College Campus Press Act and the SGA Student Bill of Rights, the work produced by our student media organizations is free from censorship and is not subject to prior review by University officials.