Hello, my name is Michael B. Murphy and I’m the Editor-In-Chief of The Gatepost.
My pronouns are “he/him.”
Earlier this week, after a thoughtful deliberation with Gatepost Advisor Desmond McCarthy and Assistant Advisor Elizabeth Banks, and after having consulted my staff of stupendous editors, writers, photographers and graphic designers, I’ve implemented a policy which will require all Gatepost reporters to ask interviewees for their pronouns.
Let me first explain what this policy entails and, also, contextualize it for you.
Per Gatepost tradition – and journalistic requirement – our reporters, when interviewing students, faculty, staff and administrators, will ask interviewees for their full names. In the case of students, we ask for their class – freshman, sophomore, junior or senior.
It is my decision, and mine alone, that all Gatepost reporters continue to ask interviewees those two questions. Additionally, they will now ask the following, and equally important, question:
“Which pronouns do you use?”
While I expect there to be some initial awkwardness between Gatepost reporters and some interviewees, I truly believe that within a relatively short period of time, we at The Gatepost and those on campus being interviewed will become comfortable with such a personal question.
It is my hope that the diversity on this campus, which we at The Gatepost have always championed, will be better represented by this editorial policy.
Though the use of “they/them” pronouns has already been incorporated into The Gatepost writing style, this is not enough to address the issue of properly representing the members of our community.
Before this policy, unless an interviewee were to tell a Gatepost reporter they used “they/them” pronouns, we would make the assumption of a person’s pronoun based on name and appearance.
Many interviewees may feel too shy to divulge their pronouns with a reporter if they are not asked. It is my hope that by being asked by Gatepost reporters what their pronouns are, interviewees will feel comfortable in the act of identifying their true selves.
After all, one of the core tenants of journalism is objectivity. It is of the upmost importance that The Gatepost fairly and factually represent those on campus who share with us their thoughts and opinions within the pages of this paper.