The Student Press Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit organization which works to protect the First Amendment rights of student journalists, publicized Jan. 30 as the nationwide, grassroots Student Press Freedom Day, with the accompanying hashtag #studentpressfreedom. SPLC is asking newspapers across the country to write on the matter of freedom of the press, shedding light on the present state of our First Amendment right.
It’s no secret that the reputation and livelihood of the press in America isn’t what it used to be. Faced with a president that condemns journalists as being “enemies of the public,” the press now exists on a volatile, shaky ground. Aspiring journalism majors are promptly told, “print is dying!” upon mentioning their future career goals. There are just 16 functioning daily student newspapers running in the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, employment in U.S. newsrooms has dropped 23 percent from 2008 to 2017. Just last week, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post cut some 1,000 employees, proving even digital media isn’t safe.
The current state of our society has created a hostile environment for commercial media to prevail as a source for reputable information for the public. Where our society once held newspapers to the highest degree of accountability, and watch-dog journalism was at its peak performance, we now must fact-check our reading and consider more heavily the bias of where we get our news.
The art and drive of journalism hasn’t completely withered, however. The First Amendment still provides the protection needed to withstand public and political scrutiny. In newsrooms across America, commercial and student alike, journalists still work to preserve the romanticized effort of journalism. The First Amendment’s protection of freedom of the press gives journalists the opportunity to provide the information needed for readers to be active in the decision making and governance of their community. It’s under these protections that The Campus Carrier publishes on a weekly basis.
The Carrier strives to connect the Berry community with information and news from within the Berry bubble and beyond. According to our Student Media Mission, “the mission and purpose of the Berry College student media is to… provide a free and unfettered public forum and marketplace of ideas.” In doing so we have strengthened relations with Berry faculty and staff, students and people within Rome. Our efforts to stay connected and in the know are all to guarantee we can report to our readers the most accurate and reliable news possible.
The Carrier has been published since 1908, a committed effort by a staff of students who share a passion for the art of print media. As a staff, we meet weekly to discuss ideas we have for stories and what we think should be covered. We spend hours in our publication office writing, editing and formatting our pages to ensure what we publish to the highest quality.
To commemorate Student Press Freedom Day, The Campus Carrier tasks you, our readers, to engage and explore your student media outlets more. You can find issues of The Campus Carrier online, dating back nearly two decades.
We want to facilitate discussion and action through our publications. So please, take a look. You can also email us as at firstname.lastname@example.org, student input, whether it be story ideas, opinions, or even a student submitted opinion piece, would only strengthen our efforts to be as connected with our readers as possible.
The Carrier’s editorial opinion represents the views of the senior members of the Campus Carrier and Viking Fusion news staff.