The Campus may be a student newspaper, but it no doubt faces some similar challenges to local and national newspapers. One of such challenges is that of covering hard news, difficult news. From accidents and memorials to a sentencing trial in federal court, journalists on The Campus staff have to face tough situations in order to get the facts, and get the truth out there. It can be exhausting, frustrating and devastating, but also rewarding.
Despite our small staff, there are times when we are covering multiple stories of this nature at a time. The newsroom is a stressful enough environment on the best of days, but when stories of this sort are the focus of our staff, stresses and tensions can run high.
Perhaps even more stressful are when outside forces attempt to demean or discount staff members and their stories. In times like those, it is all the more important that you can trust your staff, that you can stand by them and say with all confidence that you believe they at no point knowingly or negligently allowed false information to be printed.
The point of including corrections at all in a newspaper is to protect the idea that the paper acts with integrity. When a mistake is made, a correction is run.
Our integrity must be defended in a hundred other scenarios as well, including when our staff members are performing interviews, searching for sources and covering events. The way we treat our sources says just as much about our paper as our determination to find the truth.
If we cannot trust our staff, we cannot trust that the content our staff has collected for print was collected with morality and accuracy. We cannot trust that when tensions and stress run high, they will perform with professionalism and respect. We cannot trust that when information for a hard story has been collected, we will be able to write it in a supportive environment. We cannot trust that when the story has been printed, we will be able to debrief with people who understand what writing that story took.
The staff that writes and edits for the newspaper is what gives the paper the integrity it deserves. Our staff has a responsibility to be what the rest of the student body can rely on to deliver the news in the fairest and most accurate manner possible. If we as editors cannot trust our staff, than everything we work for is at risk, and you as readers cannot trust our content.