Picture it: Grambling State University, 2008. It’s 9 p.m. and the police are swarming campus like moths to a flame. Students in close proximity to the crime scene are required to evacuate their respective dorms. A reporter is already on the scene getting and giving updates to their newspaper.
After all the madness has calmed down and news stories are being written, another media entity, in a city almost an hour away, claims that they were the first on the scene.
Now I know that inquiring minds would like to know who the first news team on site was, and here’s a hint: It was not a certain news channel that will remain nameless for pure journalism’s sake.
And if you did not already know, yes, it was The Gramblinite that was first on the scene. But alas we (The Gramblinite) were snubbed by the local news media and the University, and it is not the first time it has happened.
Lately, it seems like the Judson administration is afraid of or does not want to be bothered by the diligent reporters of the campus newspaper. When some student reporters are trying to get interviews that concern University workings, we are almost always given the “good ol’ Grambling Runaround” and eventually hit with the classic response that we need to talk the director of Media Relations, Ralph Wilson. Now, I, being of sound reason, understand that there are some instances when this is required, but for every question that we ask?
As a reader and writer for the campus paper, the truth is that, yes, The Gramblinite is not the paper to look at if you are trying to win the award for best copyediting skills, but we do try and catch every mistake we see.
Being a student-run newspaper, we are still learning our careers but the art of making accurate reports of what happens in the world around us is one of those things that we are good at doing.
So how are we supposed to do that when the administration does not give us the materials that are needed for such stories?
Within the paper, there have been times when we had to report only what we knew, which in some cases is very little, about campus happenings. Only to get phone calls from those, like Wilson, who are disappointed at the fact that we reported our knowledge of a situation.
The Judson administration is slowly, but surely, starting to resemble that of President Nixon in the early ’70s. Can anyone say “Watergate?”
The extent of secrecy that is used has us in the newsroom wondering what is really going on in Long-Jones Hall. The smoke and mirrors being placed so that students do not know what is happening must be addressed. If not now, when?