Connect2Mason and Broadside are happy to announce a merger under a single name, Fourth Estate. Watch the video to learn more about the new organization, and read about some of the history behind the name below.

Prior to Broadside, the student newspaper was called The Gunston Ledger. It was changed in 1969 to better represent the politically out-spoken student body at the time. A “broadside” was a pamphlet used during the American Revolutionary War to help spread information. While Broadside has become an important part of life at Mason, we believe it no longer represents the overarching goals of student-run news. As part of our merger, we hope to reaffirm our commitment to an informed and engaged student body.

Over the past few years, Connect2Mason has become a vital component of the student media conglomeration. The organization’s social media presence has grown to over 5,000 followers on both Facebook and Twitter. C2M has become the number one place for up-to-date news about the Mason community.

Fourth Estate will combine the best aspects of Broadside and Connect2Mason over the coming months. We will actively work to learn from each other’s experiences in both collecting and communicating information in an efficient and unique way. We believe this gives us an important advantage in today’s journalism industry.

Though not specifically outlined like the three branches of government, the concept of a fourth estate referred to journalism and the media as an important tenet in upholding justice and liberty through facilitating an informed public. These historic roots, a nod to our namesake George Mason, coincide with the transforming industry of modern journalism. Our merger will allow us to better experiment and research innovative practices of the industry, through both online and print publications.