More than tradition, student newspapers affect campus
Emily Nickles, Editor-in-Chief
When I tell people what my job is, they don’t ask me any questions. They don’t ask me how a reporter does her job, what kind of people I talk to, whether my job is intensive or not. I used to work at a grocery store, and friends would always ask me questions about my interactions; now they don’t. Of late, I’ve realized that it’s because they haven’t taken the time to figure out what a newspaper actually does.
I am passionate about student journalism, but I wasn’t always. I had so many preconceived ideas about newspapers and broadcast media. I thought that all reporters did was search out the most scandalous situations or tragedies and publish it. I wanted nothing to do with what I thought was the sensationalized version of the truth. However, I was dead wrong.
Student newspapers are unique in the sense that we have a focused purpose, and that purpose is to serve our fellow peers. Now we don’t serve in the typical sense, but we are a resource. We cater our paper to fit student needs and interests. Our reporters go out every week and ask the question, “What do students need to know, or what would I need to know?” That’s what separates us from university and departmental press releases, and news. We’re not biased, or we try not to be. We operate independently.
A student newspaper holds all the same rights as any journalistic body in the United States of America. We have freedom of the press as stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” What our forefathers understood is that sometimes people lie, and it’s our responsibility to give you the facts.
Sometimes we come off as mean, and that’s why some people don’t like us. We ask questions that need to be answered, and if you don’t have an answer or feel put on the spot it may seem like we’re attacking you. We’re not. However, even then, reporters are human. We’re like everyone else. Small and few in number, we make mistakes. We write Feb. 2 and Feb. 4 in two different places when the Iowa caucus is really on the 1st. We know we botch some things. We accept it, move on, and we do better next time.
Our goal isn’t to hurt people; our goal is to help. If there was no press, then who would you listen to? The news you get from websites and the government and companies can be subjective. We balance it out by giving you information on all possible perspectives. Without the press, we don’t have a platform for challenging ideas/people/companies/government, etc. And you should challenge us too. We need voices to function, so give them to us. We will at least hear you out.