On Friday, the president of the United States called “the fake news media” an “enemy of the American People.” At The Whit we consider ourselves to be part of the media, and we are not an enemy of the American people.
It is not our business at a college paper to attack the president or play politics, but we do have a responsibility to assure our community of the integrity of our reporting.
At this paper we take pride in our ability to vet information and seek out the truth. We hunt for stories and events that we think are important to our peers and our community. We spend nights debating whether our reporting and our explanations are thorough enough for our peers to walk away with an understanding of the issues and events which are taking place on their campus and in their community.
We do not create fake stories. We do not lie to our readers or to our audience. Our reporting is not perfect – we are students after all. But we hold ourselves to high standards, standards set by our predecessors and the examples that they set, and to standards set by the industry professionals that we idolize and strive to be.
When problems afflict this community, we are not the only outlet bringing the news to interested audiences. But when it comes to issues that particularly interest members of this institution, we provide that coverage with more vigor and more enthusiasm than anyone or any other organization.
When readers have questions or complaints about our institution or our leaders, they write to us because they understand the influence that we have in this community. The realization of that influence is not lost on us. There is no other student-run organization on this campus with the ability to reach so many people and offer its opinion and its work.
We do not take lightly the responsibility that comes with such an awesome opportunity. We do not raise these points to brag about the traffic our website generates or the number of papers that we print. We raise these points because we want to acknowledge that power and trust that this community instills in us and our organization year after year.
More than anything, what we work to provide is a public service to our peers and our community. While many of us have political stances and opinions of the current administration, this is not a declaration of any anger or disapproval. This is an assurance to those who we seek to serve that our mission is in pursuit of the betterment of our community and our readers.
We are not your enemy.
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