Only the truth

Journalists know a lot about crime and punishment. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp: someone who does something wrong is reprimanded in order to encourage them to not do that thing again.

However, sometimes the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Sometimes the suspect can become the victim.

In light of the recent editorial published by the Patriot Talon, you may think the victim I’m referring to is Vanessa Curry. While her name is applicable to the scenario described above, the victim I’m alluding to is the truth.

Some say that truth is relative and that it means something different to everyone. But while the truth may be debated, it should not be attacked.

As a journalist, I feel it is my responsibility to advocate the truth in the face of adversity. That duty was the primary mechanism that drove our decision to print the last editorial.

Truthfully, printing an editorial on the front page was the last thing we wanted to do. I’m proud of the story I wrote about the Student Government Association election results and I would have loved another front-page byline.

Equally, stories from Hattie, Lea, Haley, Jake and Chris all deserve more attention than they will ultimately receive.

But the truth is, our staff had no choice. Our collective statement represented our most honest response to the helplessness we have felt over the past month.

It is truly disheartening to see the rights of a student-led publication restricted so openly. However, it’s even more disheartening to see so many people who are perfectly willing to let it happen.

Some have responded to the story by reinforcing the decision by University administrators, even though the officials themselves have yet to provide an explanation of their reasoning. I will not contest the opinion of my fellow students but I am genuinely confused as to how anyone could support a decision without learning or understanding why it was made. Especially when that decision has the potential to hurt another person so deeply.

It seems those who are unhappy with the editorial would prefer to see only positive stories that make them feel good.

The issue puts us, as a staff, in an incredibly uncomfortable position: We want to print the student voice but we feel that limiting our content to stories that benefit the University goes against the most fundamental principles of journalism.

The truth is, not all stories end well. Sometimes the truth is embarrassing. Sometimes it hurts our friends’ feelings.

Our obligation to honesty should always supersede the impact on public morale.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Only the truth”
  1. kamren says:

    This is really good. You have such an amazing grasp on and understand of journalism… probably better than a lot of veteran reporters. I feel like this should be printed on posters for journalism classrooms: “The truth is, not all stories end well. Sometimes the truth is embarrassing. Sometimes it hurts our friends’ feelings.”

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  1. […] about it, but for now, my wonderful managing editors have already written about it in their blogs, The Lede Off and Meet Me Where I Am. I support what they […]



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