North Texas Daily

#SaveStudentNewsrooms is crucial for the future of journalism

#SaveStudentNewsrooms is crucial for the future of journalism

April 26
11:49 2018

In this age of fake news and ethical dilemmas, the future of whether or not journalism is “a dying industry” lies in the hands of journalists — student journalists, to be exact.

#SaveStudentNewsrooms is a campaign put on by the University of Florida’s The Independent Alligator that emphasizes the importance of independent journalism in college newsrooms throughout the county.

Student media is arguably one of the most important factors and privileges that comes with studying at a private or public university. This includes student-operated radio stations and podcasts, television stations, magazines and newspapers.

In SMU’s case, the university is taking over the Student Media Company — the university’s independent, student-led publishing company — due to lack of funding. The journalism department is taking over different aspects of the publishing company, but the fate of other components — like the university’s award-winning yearbook — are still up in the air.

Imagine what censoring outlets like the university newspaper would potentially do to the student community.

At the North Texas Daily, our newspaper staff is made up of students — 100 percent. Every writer, reporter, photographer, videographer, illustrator, unpaid staffer, paid staffer and editor on our staff utilizes the Daily in tandem with attending journalism classes. We do not do it because we have to — we do it with a purpose.

We do it to bring unbiased news to the UNT community.

We do it to tell the whole truth, no matter how difficult it is to accept.

We do it to get an experience in a way that a 80-minute lecture or a month-long “deadline” assignment can’t teach.

We do it to learn.

We do it for you — the student body, staff, faculty and Denton residents.

To be censored or told what to do does not only provide a twisted source of news, but it also gives us students — who are working so hard to make some sort of impact at UNT — a false sense of hope and faith in our ability to be the watchdogs and the source of truth for our communities now and in the future as well.

Being a “student newspaper” does not knock the importance of free, unbiased reporting in universities — sometimes student journalists start a wave that can’t be stopped.

In December 2015, Daily staffers were some of the first onsite after the shooting of UNT student Ryan McMillan. Last semester, the Daily broke the news that Donald Trump Jr. was scheduled to speak as a part of a university-based speaker series and followed up with multiple articles spelling out cost and implications of his appearance. Just a week ago, the Daily broke that a racial slur was found on a receipt in our very own University Union.

Now, imagine in those same instances, you received the news of them from outlets like donaldtrumpjr.com or a University Union newsletter — the chances of you getting the fully stories are unlikely.

Although “UNT” is the logo plastered on the paychecks of the very few (and by very few, we mean a lower and lower amount every year) paid members of our staff, the Daily staff is and always will be determined to provide accurate, truthful and crucial information to the community.

Other student papers aren’t as lucky.

So if you have a moment, go take a look at some other student newspapers. It can be one in our own backyard — like The University of Texas at Arlington’s The Shorthorn or Texas Woman’s University’s The Lasso — or take a look at the Independent Alligator or others. Not only are you supporting students’ abilities to hone their craft and share truth, but you are contributing to the future of journalism.

#SaveStudentNewsrooms

Featured Image: File

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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