As we continue our third week of classes, it is an honor to write to you and extend a warm welcome from myself and the entire Collegian staff. We all share in the enthusiasm this month brings and have high expectations for the year ahead.
Many of you have been reading The Collegian for a while. Some of you may be browsing our site for the first time. But to all readers, I write today to stress the importance of journalism on our campus.
The mistrust of the news media is dangerous and spreading all too fast. It is hurting journalists across the nation, from other student publications like ours to the media giants.
Journalists are not the enemy of the people. Rather, we are the enemy of lies, cover-ups, secrets, misinformation, ignorance and obliviousness. Hundreds of newspapers nationwide echoed those values when they answered a call by The Boston Globe and ran editorials in defense of our craft last month.
The toxic rhetoric surrounding professional journalists may seem removed from your life. But it hurts student journalists, too.
The Collegian has been publishing continuously since 1914 and was founded in the spirit of free inquiry. Our staff works tirelessly to defend and uphold our values of truth, transparency and accountability.
Those principles are what drive us each day. We report with open and unbiased minds on the big and small things. We fact-check. We corroborate stories. We chase rumors, but we do not publish them if they prove to be just that. We hold ourselves to a higher standard and care deeply about maintaining the sanctity of journalism at UR and elsewhere. And at our cores, we consider ourselves to be storytellers.
We’ve made mistakes. We will make them again. But our promise to you, reader, is to acknowledge those mistakes and to learn from them, and we humbly ask for your understanding when that happens.
I encourage you to challenge us to do better when we’ve failed. We welcome criticism because it contributes to open and public discourse. But it will not prevent us from continuing to provide critical and discerning coverage when we must.
Sometimes that might be uncomfortable. We, as the entire community of journalists past and present, ask uncomfortable questions. But The Collegian firmly believes that being uncomfortable is necessary. Comfort breeds ignorance, which directly contradicts the values of a liberal arts education.
The Collegian is also a forum for you: your accomplishments, achievements and highlights. Telling your stories is our bread and butter. We promise to pursue the good and the not-so-good with equal vigor and responsibility.
Here’s the thing about us: We think you deserve to know everything happening on this ever-changing, fast-paced campus that we call home.
So I ask you to read us. Engage with us. Listen deeply. Pay attention to what’s going on around you. And stay open-minded and curious. I can assure you The Collegian always will.
Here’s to another year of honesty, growth, accountability and inspiration.
Contact Ashlee at firstname.lastname@example.org.