Editorial: The importance of objectivity in student media

The Bucknellian is the weekly student newspaper of the University. With that comes a responsibility to publish fair and objective content in both the print and web editions each week.

Student media organizations that do not present themselves explicitly as either conservative or liberal have an obligation to the student body to remain unbiased in their portrayals of events both on and off campus. If these groups cannot remain impartial, they jeopardize their credibility and integrity. It then becomes a question of their biases or personal involvements and investments rather than the quality of their work. The Bucknellian, like many other media organizations, uses its Opinions section to provide an outlet for individual perspectives. Through student-written articles and letters to the editor from members of the campus community, The Bucknellian offers a space for the discussion of conflicting opinions.

When thinking about objectivity, it is important to separate the Opinions section from the newspaper as a whole, and also from what The Bucknellian represents on campus. While other student media organizations on campus such as Her Campus, the Odyssey, and the Counterweight cover news, including some of the same issues that The Bucknellian covers, these publications take a subjective stance as a whole. For example, Her Campus describes itself as “a collegiette’s guide to life,” the Odyssey claims to share “a chorus of millennial voices,” and the Counterweight, published by the Bucknell University Conservatives Club (BUCC), dedicates its publication to right-wing political discussion.

The Bucknellian is different from these organizations in that it is the only independent student newspaper at the University, meaning that it does not receive funding from the University in order to remain objective.

For any publication, especially an independent newspaper, objectivity is about more than a journalist’s skill to report facts without allowing their own ideologies to distort the manner in which they report them. It’s about the journalist being willing to reach out, listen, and ask fair questions to all parties. Going into the semester’s final print edition, this responsibility is not something that The Bucknellian takes lightly.

(Visited 360 times, 1 visits today)