From The Barometer 125 years ago to OMN today: History of media at OSU

This photo illustration shows a radio microphone and beaver apparel. With the growth and credibility of OMN moving at an exponential rate, the resources and size of OMN has also grown.

Adam Figgins, News Contributor

Correction: Assistant Director of Student Media Steven Sandberg’s title was incorrect and this has been corrected. Information attributed to Sandberg regarding the formation of OMN has been changed to have more clarification. The article previously stated that “the mediums were already housed under student media, but beginning in 2014 they sought ways to collaborate more and work more closely together, eventually coming together to form what is OMN today.” This information has been updated for clarification.

Today Orange Media Network is made up of six mediums that work to engage and inform students through media and together they collaborate to produce magazines, newspapers, radio and television.

Because there are now six mediums students can choose from, OMN pulls in a variety of people interested in media. The oldest medium is The Daily Barometer which started in 1896, followed by KBVR-FM then KBVR-TV. Prism, OSU’s art and literary magazine followed, then DAMchic and Beaver’s Digest in 2014.

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The Daily Baro works to provide students and Corvallis, Ore. residents with city and campus news. The newspaper has been awarded by organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists and has notable alumni such as Chris Johns, the former editor-in-chief of National Geographic, and Lindsay Schnell, a reporter for USA Today.

In 1966, the student media department saw the addition of KBVR-FM 88.7 and in 1967 gained KBVR-TV. KBVR-FM is award winning as well and took nine awards from the Intercollegiate Broadcasting Awards in 2014. KBVR-TV is a winner of the Best All-Around Television News Magazine from the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2014, according to Assistant Director of Student Media Steven Sandberg, OSU Student Media changed their name to Orange Media Network, and student leaders sought new ways to have more mediums to collaborate.

KBVR-FM is known for a variety of it’s DJs and talk shows. The radio station also broadcasts sports games, news and produces podcasts.

“[At] KBVR-FM, a student can learn how to become a DJ and a lot of times be in that booth by themself, it’s 100% the voice of that student,” Sandberg said.

Sandberg works to advise student creators at KBVR-FM. He believes one of the biggest strengths of KBVR-FM is the ability to get student voices out in the community.

He also helps to advise student creators at KBVR-TV, the television program that has a variety of programs produced by students such as live-music, documentaries and public affair interviews. Students work in a fully-equipped studio that helps them gain experience in television production.

“What’s great about KBVR-TV is it gets students together and shows them what it means to be a team,” Sandberg said.

Andrew Foran is the current station manager at KBVR-TV and said KBVR-TV’s main goal is to create a space where students can gain hands-on training with professional equipment and software.

“We offer opportunities to create and share students’ ideas with the community,” Foran said via email. “Whatever idea students might have, [KBVR is] here to help them make it.”

The current Editor-in-Chief of Beaver’s Digest Alex Luther said accessibility was also a pull to OMN like Foran mentioned.

“I could join and become a part of a team, make connections, and find my own space at the university,” Luther said.

Beaver’s Digest publishes lifestyle content on-line and, with Luther’s guidance, just recently started publishing an online magazine. Currently, Beaver’s Digest does not produce print content although it did in the past.

One of Luther’s current goals is to make Beaver’s Digest the go-to for all students on all things student life and lifestyle.

Since its inception in 2012, DAMchic has had to adjust its operations due to the pandemic. While there was not a fashion show this year on campus for students to see, DAMchic has printed both the fall and winter issue for students to pick up at any OMN newsstands, made available February.

Prism is still publishing content and is working through the pandemic to share students’ art. Prism is made up of volunteer content creators within the student body. The medium publishes a literary and art journal once annually along with blog posts and podcasts.

“Our culture now to me is one of being a family, everyone on that team regardless of medium is working toward the same mission and the same goals, and they have their unique voice but they’re really stronger together,” Sandberg said.