Letter from the Faculty Sponsor

One of the biggest pleasures of teaching at the University of British Columbia is having the opportunity to support students’ initiatives. Students in the Bachelor of Media Studies (BMS) have come up with plenty of those during the time I have been instructor in the BMS. However, I was especially intrigued when I was initially contacted by Catherine Zhu with the idea of starting up an undergraduate journal for media studies. I guess what really drew me to get involved was her genuine and energetic conviction that media studies students could create a space to showcase the high quality, creative, and intellectually sound work of their quieter peers. So many undergraduate students produce amazing critical media objects and reflections, yet some of them are a bit shy to show and share with others their high-quality works. It is not easy to go out and talk to people, ‘market’ yourself (as we are being told continuously to do so), stand in front of live, online, or broadcasted audiences to send your message, or ‘network’ in the media industry or academic world. For some, with strong personalities, it comes easier than others. Beacon offers a space for both, exuberant and quieter voices. A space created by students for students to level the field and help develop their confidence.

Beacon, UBC’s first undergraduate media studies journal, has grown now from an idea to a reality. Students have made it their own. They have created an amazing editorial board, a site to host and archive the journal, and contributed submissions to have their first issue ready to go live! It has been a wonderful journey. I cannot be any prouder of all of you, media studies students. This is yours and only yours. Thank you for letting me accompany you in this journey. Long live the Beacon!

Richard Arias-Hernandez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Teaching
Bachelor of Media Studies & iSchool