The Gramblinite newspaper is an award-winning student publication on the university that trains students for possible careers in the field of journalism. The weekly publication is also designed to bridge the gap between the campus and the surrounding community, since the newspaper, in fact, serves as the physical news source for the city of Grambling. “Serving the community one newspaper at a time,” reads the slogan in the header on the front page.
As students train to be professionals at an institution of higher learning, those people who impact the university must be willing to help student reporters achieve their goal of becoming professional journalists.
Here at GSU, administrators, faculty and staff lack the transparency that is needed for student reporters to accomplish the ultimate journalistic goal-an article. The lack of transparency negates the whole purpose of The Gramblinite, which is to print the facts and train students appropriately. University personnel not answering phone calls, and responding to email and telephone messages are just some of the issues that student journalists face.
Now, don’t get me wrong; yes, we understand that you officials may be extremely busy. That’s why I encourage journalists to attempt some form of communication more than once.
Yes, we also understand that there is a process by which the majority of campus communication flows through the campus communications office. But a reporter’s most reliable source is the individual who deals specifically with a situation.
Also, we are not here to be biased in one way or another, because even journalists have a set of code of ethics that they must follow. So the names that I’ve heard the newspaper called, such as “The SMUT-NITE” or “The TRASH-NITE,” I tell those individuals to respect our craft as we respect yours.
We are not in the business of being “messy,” nor are we a public relations firm. We will report-the good, the bad and the ugly. There must be a balance.
There are multiple types of journalism, such as investigative reporting and enterprise stories, which are used to raise the consciousness of readers.
While struggling to schedule an interview with a campus official, I was told I could write the story, but not conduct the interview. I replied, “That’s impossible. In order for me to do a story I need to conduct an interview.” That individual’s response was, “You guys do it all the time.”
I ask that those who do not know journalism stay in your lane, as we will stay in ours and stay impartial. I beg that university officials become transparent and allow student reporters to gain the experience, so they can become journalism professionals.
The Gramblinite can reached at 274-3331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can be reached on: Twitter @IAmJustinMadden or by email at email@example.com.
EDitor-in-chief Justin Madden is a senior mass communication major from Los Angeles