With each semester comes new academic challenges and a new learning curve. What some people may not know is that The Defender is neither an elective, nor a club, but a four-credit, semester-long course.
Each semester brings a new staff, learning how to better themselves as aspiring journalists. Despite being a required course for journalism majors, it is not uncommon for the paper’s staff to be met with opposition and noncompliance from on-campus sources.
On many occasions editors and media writers for the paper are shut down before they can even ask their first question. Understandably, some people feel that in the past they have been misrepresented, misquoted or misinterpreted in the paper and still hold hostile feelings towards the publication as a whole.
While the entire staff takes responsibility for any offense, omission or oversight occurring this semester, it is important to understand that each new staff tries to avoid previous errors while building up the esteem of the paper both on and off the St. Michael’s campus.
However, this would not be possible without the cooperation of the entire community. While the majority of faculty and staff understand the learning curve that comes with producing a publication, there are still some that remain wary of interviews with journalism students.
For some sources, the line between news and public relations seems hazy. While much good occurs at St. Michael’s College, it is not the job of a newspaper to ignore or downplay the defeats and struggles. Through candid interviews, open and honest dialogue can occur that is not only of importance to students, but has the potential to lead to positive change.
As the staff aims to produce a fair and honest paper, it would be valuable if every member of the campus saw the benefit of helping to facilitate a positive learning environment.
If an error occurs, don’t hesitate to send questions or concerns to Samantha Merrill, executive editor, at email@example.com, or Kelley Bureau, managing editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The paper never aims to make personal attacks on individuals, groups or departments, so before accusing a student of errors made in the past, or denying access to information altogether, consider that this is an institution of higher learning, and that academic benefits are derived through experience.