EDITORIAL: Student journalists are necessary
University newspapers keep administrations in check
The attempted invalidation of news sources, even the most prestigious and well-respected of them, has become rampant in this country despite the fact that the press is one of our nation’s most important institutions. The press is seen by many as the “fourth branch” of the government, with an unparalleled ability to check for wrongdoings and hold officials accountable for their actions. This is part of the reason blatant attacks on the media which aim for its collapse are somewhat puzzling, especially when these attacks come from advocates for a less powerful central government.
In the same way that the national media checks the nation’s government, student journalists check their schools’ administrations. Student journalists at universities across the country have the unique ability to question their institution’s highest officials deeply and seriously. They have the resources to keep a close eye on the goings-on at their school and, in some cases, shine light on things like mismanagement of funds and administrative misconduct — things that affect students the most. Partially for that reason, it is in a student body’s best interest to have a newspaper tailored toward them.
The students also have a right to know what is going on at their school, and they have a right to be presented with the facts of matters regarding their institution’s administration as well as other things closely pertaining to their school. Without student journalists, the student body would be forced to resort to their university’s non-independent media source to find out what is going on, and there is no telling as to the extent to which that source censors the university’s news. Hard-hitting information would likely be swept under the rug more often than not, and students would be left in the dark.
Most of all, students need their own voices heard. Students pay enormous sums of money to be in college and want a say in their university’s policies, or at least a vehicle to voice their views. A student newspaper can act as that vehicle, and through interviews, opinions pieces and letters, it is able to remind the administration that power is a two-way-street. An attack on a student newspaper would, therefore, be an attack on the student voice.
With that said, to ensure equal representation in the community it is also necessary for students to get involved with their school’s paper. If students feel their demographics or ideologies are underrepresented in their paper but do not attempt to join and offer their views, then their voice can become lost. Students should feel encouraged to reach out both in support of their school’s paper and to offer criticism, but there is no better way of doing that than actually becoming a part of the newspaper.
Here in New Brunswick, the students should take solace in the fact that they have a newspaper that is on their side. Through any and all challenges presented, we work to inform this community. We check the administration when they seem to overstep their boundaries. We give the students a voice when they feel they need to be heard. We give credit where credit is due, and we work hard to present our community with the truth — the real truth — despite public confusion that has become so prevalent in the past year with regard to it. And we always put the students first.
In this new era, it is time for journalists to do their best work — the people of this country and of this community not only deserve that, but they need it. Without journalists who care and who have quality resources at their disposal, figures in power will be at free reign. So while newspapers work to maintain their community's rights and freedoms, communities should work to do the same for their journalists.
The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 150th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.