Editorial: The age of social media, emphasis on the media

With the advent of the internet came the free fall of print journalism, for better or for worse. And with that came news sources transitioning to social media as a primary method of dissemination of news and stories. With major domestic and international events such as the Olympic Games in August and the U.S. presidential election in November, everybody and their mother with a blog, Facebook, or Twitter has an opinion on something or other. This calls into question the legitimacy of the news we see spread across assorted media outlets and platforms.

While the responsibility should ultimately lie with the reader to determine whether to take their news with a grain of salt, it is equally important for news sources to consider the biases and approaches that they may unintentionally bring to the table when covering topics of controversy or conflict. News organizations owe it to their readers, and to themselves, to hold themselves to a standard of objectivity and integrity.

The less-than-objective coverage of the Olympic Games and the ubiquity of reports on issues such as campus assault have proven that news media and social media have the ability to mobilize masses behind injustices and improprieties. The important takeaway here is that news organizations must be vigilant in their role as judge, jury, and executioner on certain subjects. Careless reporting and publishing can be far easier to commit and carry heavier consequences in the current age.

While comprised of individuals that undoubtedly have their own opinions on a myriad of subjects, The Bucknellian does not reflect the opinions and biases held by the staff. Rather, it strives for objectivity and balance in its coverage of news, sports, and features. While a tired cliché, it is especially applicable here that with great power comes great responsibility.

However, a new academic year brings changes to every corner of campus, including student media. Aside from a geographic change on campus from Roberts Hall to the Stuck House, where The Bucknellian will share a space with WVBU in the interest of making student media a more collaborative effort, there are a number of content-related changes that we will be implementing.

The introduction of a Satire section allows The Bucknellian to approach heavy topics with a more critical lens than is usually afforded; the expansion of the Opinions section will provide a platform where any member of the community, regardless of involvement with The Bucknellian, can utilize their right to free speech; and the addition of an Investigative News section will force us to dig deeper on the issues that members of the University community really care about.

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