buzz is back


By Jess Peterson, Buzz Editor

The thing that dissuaded me from joining my high school’s newspaper was the idea that somebody else would be telling me what to write. Yes, I could have my work in print instead of just on a blog that people sometimes read or in the journal I passed back and forth in the hallways with my best friend, but I didn’t want even an ounce of creative freedom taken out of my hands.

Luckily, journalism is not the soul-sucking, dried out and agenda-following kind of writing that people often make it out to be. Sure, not every reader who flips open a copy of The Daily Illini is reading those articles from start to end, just like how casual internet browsers are more likely to stop at the click-bait and trending memes no matter how many hours or how much integrity you feel like you invested into your article.

I used to think writing was solely meant for the writer; if I wasn’t satisfied or deeply intrigued by what I had created, then why was I writing it at all? The greatest lesson I’ve digested from studying in the College of Media the past two years is that the real reward is the connections that are made with the people whose stories you are telling: the reason to write and the reason others ought to care.

My first piece published in buzz Magazine was an interview with local rapper T.R.U.T.H., who is now a part of the rap group Mother Nature. I went into the interview with no idea what I was doing. It was greatly overwhelming to sit down with a local artist, basically a C-U celeb. I was completely self-conscious that my lack of rap music knowledge would shine through.

Espresso Royale on Daniel Street has too-small tables, which I nervously laughed about during the interview. I was using two separate recording devices when I realized one thing: Anyone can do this. All it takes is the ability to listen and the urge to share something with the public that matters partially because you wrote it, but more importantly because it is true.

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Since then, buzz stopped releasing its weekly print edition due to Illini Media Company budget cuts. Our staff dwindled as students graduated and writers lost interest. Many forget the privilege that comes with writing for our magazine.

We are the only student-run arts and entertainment-specific publication in the Champaign-Urbana area; however, we have lost our reach within the community and prevalence among students. The physical editions of buzz are extinct, but the spirit and intention behind the writers, no matter how few, still remains.

I am both intimidated and excited for the future of buzz as its newest editor. This past year has not been an easy one. We may feel forgotten because of the tangible pages that no longer circulate around C-U, but the current staff and I are ready to dive into this publication with Miracle Gro and all the fertilizer that can fill the pockets of our overalls — a buzz revival, if you will.

We won’t be able to get back to where we once were overnight; however, with the help of our friends at The Daily Illini, responses from the community and our staff, we will continue to grow and care about the who and why of what we write. It would be impossible for us to stay exactly where we once were.

Our moment of dormancy is done. We are prepared to sit down with the community, the culture and the art that helps make our college campus unlike any other with the intent to listen and share what we learn. Buzz was for everyone and will continue to be for everyone.

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