OPINION | Lessons learned in controversy

The Butler Collegian deeply regrets  a blog post written by one of our staff members and the anguish it has caused members of the Butler University community.

The Collegian strives to hold itself to the highest journalistic standards to act as a professional newsroom.

We feel the weight of that responsibility now more than ever.

In the days following the blog’s publication, we have learned that words can hurt. Words can be misinterpreted and, thus, we recommit ourselves to being as accurate, honest and fair as possible in our writing.

We have learned that staff members always represent The Collegian, no matter the assignment, publication or setting. We must always identify ourselves, the story we’re working on and the publication that we are writing for because, as student journalists and interns, we often write for other outlets.

We have learned the minute an article or opinion piece is published, it is out of our hands.  Consequently, we are reminded that we must produce our work with the greatest care and according to the highest standards we have been taught.

And we’ve learned that because we can’t control who reads our work or how people react to it, we need to take the utmost care before it is published.

We are here to learn.

We are students from all walks of life. We are journalism majors as well as students who have never taken a journalism course. We are students who are about to graduate and students who are in their first semester at Butler.

The Collegian provides us an on-the-job opportunity to practice what we are taught in the classroom on the job.

We are taught news values—impact, timeliness, trends and human interest—in order to determine what subjects are  worthy of news coverage.

As student journalists, we are taught to do research about the organizations and people we cover, as well as issues of concern.

We are taught to seek appropriate sources to interview to gain multiple perspectives on those issues.

We are taught to let those sources know what news outlet we are representing and what subject we are covering in our article.

We are taught to report accurately.

We are taught to write as clearly and concisely as possible.

We are taught to conduct ourselves in an honest and professional manner.

We take these responsibilities and lessons seriously.

We regret when we do not meet the standard practices of our profession.

The Collegian staff will use this experience to reinforce these values and standards.


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