“What, is it a slow news week?”
“Why does The Gatepost even care?”
These were questions asked by a Larned Hall Resident Assistant to two Gatepost editors late last Thursday night. The editors were investigating reports of a severly intoxicated student with a bloody nose being transported from the dorm via ambulance.
While a story about a student with a bloody nose may seem trivial, as journalists, we at The Gatepost have an obligation to look into important campus happenings and report campus crimes.
This incident is not major by any means. However, it did serve as a reminder to The Gatepost staff of how our work is often misunderstood by our peers.
Let’s dispel one myth we have heard perpetuated on multiple occasions by students while we have worked at this independent newspaper – that we as student journalists derive pleasure in covering unpleasant stories.
That is, of course, absurd.
No student wants to annoy his or her peers and ask questions that could be perceived as “nosy.” However, these stories play a vital part in keeping students up to date on what happens in our community. Asking those very questions is the only way to obtain the answers that allow for the reporting of said stories.
As student journalists, we at The Gatepost spend our Thursday nights, and many hours of our week, serving the FSU community. We provide students, faculty and staff with vital information about campus issues and events, as well as a platform for discussion.
When Gatepost reporters are met with derision, it makes educating our community that much harder. In order for us to report the facts properly, a certain level of cooperation is needed from the FSU community.
Without journalism in all its forms – newspapers, television, online publications – most would be in the dark about their community’s issues. In order to make decisions that are beneficial not only to our community, but to oneself as a member of that community, one must be knowledgeable about said issues.
We at The Gatepost provide FSU community members with the knowledge to make these decisions with confidence. This is why we never shy away from the tougher stories. This is why we are obligated to investigate everything. If we were to let a story slip by, we would be doing a disservice to the community.
So next time you are sitting in the dining commons on a Tuesday afternoon and a student approaches you and says, “Hi! I’m a reporter from The Gatepost. Can I ask you a question?” we encourage you to participate in journalism.
After all, this is your paper too.