The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication released its 20th edition of the AnswerBook for the 2014-15 year, officially saying goodbye to the hardcopies and making it available exclusively on iTunes.
This copy-desk reference guide to the university contains information about ACU including historical, geographical and cultural facts. This can range from new building names, new student groups and an updated list of all faculty, staff and administration members.
The book is updated every school year and edited by Dr. Charlie Marler, professor emeritus of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Paul Anthony, communication coordinator for ACU’s advancement division and former Optimist editor.
“It was 20 years ago when we concluded that we needed a stylebook for the Optimist, and that’s how it started off,” Marler said. “As it grew, we began to insert historical and cultural things, and it grew from a stylebook into a handbook of style and history of the university for the student media.”
Though it is now open to the public, the book was originally designed for student reporters of the Optimist, serving as a source of help on writing style and legal issues.
“The ACU AnswerBook was originally designed for the Optimist staff,” said Carisse Berryhill, associate dean of the library for digital initiatives, special collections and university archives. “Dr. Marler was really meticulous on how the students reported their facts; he wanted it done right. The book was created as a source for the students to check their facts and as the years went on, it eventually grew into something much bigger.”
Today, the AnswerBook is not only used by Optimist writers, but also viewed from the public eye as a historical book.
“It’s all potentially useful for an Optimist reporter, but the AnswerBook also serves a role similar to an almanac – preserving the dynamic history of ACU in a way that might not be captured by the narrative structure of a history book or might otherwise get lost in the day-to-day life of the campus,” Anthony said.
The AnswerBook is available on iTunes for $8.99 and can also be downloaded to an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.