Friday, February 03, 2006

The campus newspaper can be quite a painful balancing act. It's role is to be the platform for student voices to give their thoughts on things happening around them an airing. Yet, since the publication is also a reflection of the college that is accessible to all and sundry, we also have to be aware of our Admin's sensitivities and not air dirty linen in public view.

Our current feature story, based on the information our assigned reporters have amassed so far, put them in a difficult position. It looked like that there was a lot of negativity towards a major event that took place just recently. Our reporters had a dilemma: report "the truth" and face the cancellation of our fledgling news agency by a wrathful Admin; or embellish and pretty up the story and claim that it was an unqualified success, and lose all credibility with our readership who will view us as yet another "propaganda" tool of the powers-that-be.

We discussed the issue and came to the conclusion that neither was an acceptable option. Tracing further, we discovered that what our reporters took as "truth" was information provided from only one particular point of view. The issue hadn't been examined from sufficient counter-perspectives to be given a fair public hearing. So immediately one reporter took off to interview another source, who happened to be available, cooperative, forthcoming and honest in providing an alternative viewpoint.

For the last few weeks, we've been struggling with the identity of our 'paper. Should it be a sensational tabloid, a boring event-by-event scribe, a critical commentary, or what? After today's discussion, it looks like we're trying to make every opinion count. To see from multiple angles. To broaden perspectives on issues. To point out where improvement is needed. And to initiate dialogue that will facilitate such change for the better.

Noble words. Let's hope they aren't also famous last words.

Hmm... would this entry count as the NY Connexions manifesto?

Hmm(2)... I don't think every single story we write needs this level of nobility. That would also be nuts unrealistic. But when there is a need to take an editorial decision, then perhaps this should be our guide.

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