Are you familiar with Rowan Blog? If you’re not, read on to get a glimpse of what Rowan Blog has to offer. I was able to talk with the creator, Cristin Kastner Farney this past week. She is 41 years old and is a new resident of Glassboro, New Jersey. She originally grew up in North Jersey and came to Glassboro for a job opportunity at Rowan. Cristin has always loved to write. She started out as a content person. She wrote a lot of web copy for marketing or regular websites at Rowan University. Cristin never even read a blog, but once she found out she could lead a team of storytellers it all came together.
The Rowan Blog is by students for students at Rowan University. “I work hard to create a positive and inclusive type of team of student workers. I make sure that I draw from different majors, different ethnicities, different genders and different grades.” Said Cristin. The blog is fairly new and has only been running for the past three years. She wanted to start this blog because she is a storyteller and this blog allows her to follow her passion and do something she loves.
The Rowan Blog covers different majors, things to do within New Jersey, athletics and much more. Since my blog focuses on the human side of sports, I asked Cristin on what sports stories she likes to focus on the most. “We try to focus on the human side of things. We understand we’re not athletics, we won’t cover stats or play by play but we look for the overall student athlete story and we are looking for stories that can showcase what our students are doing so incoming freshmen or transfers have an idea what goes on and can picture themselves doing it too. We are looking for relatability.” Watching a sports game is entertainment, but Rowan Blog allows people to see athletes as a person and show their authenticity. Sports are more than just a game.
With digital media being so prominent in today’s generation, the visual aspect draws a viewer’s attention. Blogs don’t only include writing, they also include videos, audio and photography. Rowan blog incorporates a little bit of everything, but Cristin says there are some challenges when they want to include video.
“Sometimes it’s tough to get video when we are on a tight deadline. Video takes a while so sometimes we have to sit down and really think about which stories can be told with video and which stories need video to get the concept across.”
Cristin gave the example of the 20 minute radius part of the blog. This part of the blog is essential for video due to the content of showing the viewers activities to do in the South Jersey area.
The blog has been successful for the three years it has been running, but it did take a bit of a toll during the coronavirus pandemic. “We are not able to get any photography. What we did the very last day campus was open we went around campus to take pictures of people, got their age name and phone number and then got their story later. Everybody has a story so we’re hoping now they’ll get back to us.”
Cristin Kastner Farney gives a piece of advice for people interested in entering the digital journalism field. “Obviously writing is important but sometimes there is an emphasis on writing to an inclusion on photography. It is beneficial to me when students know how to take good photos or when they are open to improving their photography skills.”
It was a pleasure to talk to Cristin and I hope to work with her in the future on what sports stories can be featured in the Rowan Blog. “Everyone has a story to tell and Rowan Blog’s job is to shine light on the human side of a story.” Make sure to keep up with Rowan Blog to keep you updated on what’s going on with Rowan students during the coronavirus pandemic.
Follow me on Twitter as I will put all of my blog posts on my account.