Too many times, college journalists get heat for being on their newspaper staff. We’ve heard the jokes and we know, print journalism is dying. It doesn’t make sense that we would willingly want to write hundreds of words each week (when it’s not even for a grade), right? On top of that, everything is digital now, even news sources, so who has time to read an article when you can get a general idea from a 280-character tweet?
But the fact of the matter is, no matter how you consume your news, journalism itself isn’t going anywhere and neither is its impact.
Over the past week, it has become even more evident to us how crucial student journalism is on a college campus, and not just for those on staff, but, in our case, also for the Berry community as a whole.
As members of the Campus Carrier staff, our job is to serve the Berry community with accurate, timely, balanced and compelling coverage. We report the facts that we feel you, as members of the community, want, deserve and need to know. What you do with that information is up to you.
Our platform is a tool we can use to help you as readers share your voice. But your opinions, thoughts, ideas, achievements, experiences, grievances and more are what enable us to have a platform, enable us to help incite the change you want to see.
This has never been more clear than with the recent action on our social media platforms, especially Instagram. Last Thursday, we laid out our school’s new quarantine and isolation policies, policies that some members of the Berry community felt did not align with the school’s values and mission in regard to students’ wellbeing, according to the comments. In response to the backlash, the college actually changed their policies.
When we report on happenings around campus, it can only go so far. It is our journalistic responsibility, in accordance with the Society of Professional Journalists’s code of ethics, to seek the truth and report it, specifically without bias. However, you, as the consumers of news, are free to express your bias and emotions in response to our coverage, and that is where the important conversations begin to happen.
We want our reporting to be accurate and fair, and we strive for that quality of work daily. That means, at the very least, we try our hardest to ensure every angle of the conversation is heard, which requires setting aside our personal feelings and associations, something we are willing to do in order to deliver the most authentic work.
Journalists and their works are supposed to be a reflection of the community for which they produce. In part, it is our job to bring to light the aspects that might otherwise get overlooked. But we cannot do that alone.
In order for the Carrier to function, we have to rely on our community. As student journalists, we have the privilege of experiencing things from both an insider and outsider perspective. We are impacted by the things that happen on campus just as other students are, but we have the opportunity to talk to administration and gather insight on what is happening behind the scenes. We then have the chance to relay information to both parties that they might not have otherwise been able to access as easily.
It is never our intention to bring harm to anyone or work against certain members of the community. We take a holistic approach to working with everyone in our community in an exchange of trust — you trust us, and we trust you.
Student media, including the Carrier, Viking Fusion, Valkyrie and Ramifications, allows us as a community to endlessly foster an enjoyable campus environment for everyone.
We could not be more appreciative to everyone who allows us to report on everything that happens at Berry, from the good all the way to the uncomfortable. Thank you for allowing us to continue being a conduit of the conversation.