Keith Gave, a finalist for the Director of Student Publications position, said trust with the Central Michigan Life newspaper staff is the most important part of the job.
The Director of Student Publications advises the staff of Central Michigan Life and The Central Review.
“I feel like I’ve been preparing for this job for a long time,” Gave said during his Wednesday afternoon open forum before a crowd of CM Life staff members and university faculty and staff.
Gave said his role as an adviser is to teach students the skills they need to be successful.
“(The role is to) be available in any way I can,” Gave said. “Basically, (to give students) all the tools I know how to give them, all the guidance and advice I know how to give them, and then get out of their way.”
Gave said trust is a key component of advising and working on a student newspaper.
“It takes a lot of courage to walk into a newsroom and do what (reporters) do,” he said. “You need to know somebody is there who has your back at all times.”
He said his goal is to make the newspaper as relevant and topical as possible.
“Content is king,” Gave said. “If we do our jobs as reporters, photographers, graphic designers and so on and put together a newspaper people cannot help but pick up … that’s my goal. That’s where I want to get.”
Gave’s journalism career, which spans 30 years, includes various stints at the Dallas Morning News, the Associated Press, the Lansing State Journal and 15 years at the Detroit Free Press, spent primarily covering the Detroit Red Wings.
Gave said he can handle the change in pace that would come with advising CM Life ahead as opposed to The Washtenaw Voice, the Washtenaw Community College student publication he advises.
“I wish (CM Life) were a daily newspaper,” he said. “I’m ready, and I think it’s exciting we can write and break news and write it in a timely manner.”
At WCC, Gave said he helps reporters find other students and faculty for help with multimedia projects such as video packages and photo slideshows and can bring this helpfulness to CM Life and The Central Review.
“They find these good students for us, and we do a lot of team reporting,” he said. “News reporters, photographers and videographers go out and all do a story together, and we have a great story, great pictures and a video to go with it.”
Gave is the only candidate of the three who did not graduate from CMU and does not have direct ties to the university.
“All I can say to that is you won’t find a bigger fan of this place than me,” he said.
The two other candidates for the job are 1984 CMU alum and current Manager of Human Resources Communications at the University of Michigan Jim Knight and current Editor-in-Chief of the Big Rapids Pioneer and CMU alum Dave Clark, who held open forums Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, respectively.
He said he was unsure if Knight should be a candidate for the job because of his marriage to Associate Vice President of University Communications Sherry Knight.
“I don’t have the answers to that (question), and that’s a tough call for whoever has to make it,” he said.
Gave worked with Knight at AnnArbor.com and said he is a good judge of character and a quality journalist.
The Student Media Board will choose two finalists from the three remaining, and Provost Gary Shapiro will decide the new director of student publications.
It is unclear when Shapiro will make his decision.