The Clarion is the student voice of Madison Area Technical College. We believe in the inherent First Amendment right of freedom of expression and in the benefits of dialogue and debate within the college. We believe in the rights of the students to directly participate in college governance. The Clarion will teach students, inform the college community and advocate for students’ rights.
The start of The Clarion can be traced to a school publication known as “The Four Lakes Reporter,” which began in the 1965-1966 school year. Published in a newsletter format, it contained mostly news updates and calendar information. A name and format change came about during the 1971-1972 school year, when the publication starting printing on newsprint and in the current tabloid format. The name “Student Language and News Today” was adopted, and the acronym “SLANT” became its common title. (Watch this video About the Clarion.)
During its early years, the publication was closely aligned with the college’s journalism program. All content was written and edited by the journalism class under the guidance of instructor Mike Irwin. The publication was compiled and printed by the college’s graphics laboratory, overseen by instructor Robert Eason, at the Commercial Avenue facility. It was published on a monthly basis.
In the mid-1980s, the publication’s name was slightly changed to “Student Life and News Today,” although the publication continued to be known as “The SLANT.” Students in the college’s journalism classes edited the publication, but they now accepted submissions from students throughout the college. For a short time period, from February 1989 through April 1992, “The SLANT” was published as a monthly news magazine.
The student newspaper became an official student organization and part of the Student Life Office’s co-curricular offerings in September 1992. Student Publication Specialist Karen Faster was hired to serve as the first non-faculty advisor for the publication. Students from all areas of the college could apply to serve as editors, though submissions and participation from journalism, photography and marketing courses were strongly encouraged. The publication returned to a newspaper format and established a goal of publishing twice a month.
On Jan. 31, 1997, “The SLANT” changed its name to “The Clarion.” Student staff members felt that the name “SLANT” inferred a bias and was counter to the true goal of the publication, which was to provide an objective account of news and information. The student staff selected the name “The Clarion” because it “connotes a truthful yet rebellious nature that the publication hopes to hold.” Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen was the advisor during this period, serving from September 1995 through May 2000. During this period, the newspaper went online and posted its first online issue in 1998.
The Clarion has been recognized as one of the top two-year college newspapers in the nation. Four times in the past decade, The Clarion has been a finalist for the Associated College Press Pacemaker award, winning it in 2007. During the 2010-11 school year, the newspaper staff received the following awards:
2010 ACP College Media National Convention
(Oct. 31, 2010)
1st place – Best of show, 2-year college tabloid newspapers.
2011 Wisconsin Newspaper Association College Newspaper Contest
(Feb. 11, 2011)
1st place – General Excellence, Group B (non-daily newspapers).
1st place – Best advertisement, Vishmaa Ramsaroop-Briggs
2nd place – Investigative reporting, Vishmaa Ramsaroop-Briggs
2nd place – Graphics, Vishmaa Ramsaroop-Briggs
2nd place – General reporting, Vishmaa Ramsaroop-Briggs
2nd place – Column writing, Alisha Stahl
3rd place – Sports reporting, Matt Daniels
3rd place – Sports column, Caleb Sanford
3rd place – General web excellence
Honorable mention – Sports reporting, Matt Daniels
Honorable mention – Best editorial, Buddy Thompson
2011 Associated Collegiate Press Best of the Midwest College Media Convention
(Feb. 13, 2011)
1st place – Best of Show Two-Year College Newspapers.
1st place – Single page design, George Treviranus
3rd place – Feature writing, Cristalyne Bell
3rd place – Special Section, Clarion staff.