This week we jumped on the Twitter trend with our own “First of all” Tweet. The trend involves responding to someone sarcastically by saying “First of all,” then offering only one response point. We tweeted: The Optimist made another typo. First of all, we’re a student run newspaper.
In a world of fake news and biased journalism, we realize that even misspelled words cause us to lose credibility. When students or other readers comment on our errors, we try to correct the error or we have a healthy embarrassment at the mistake. We appreciate our readers who take the time to not only read our stories, but also provide feedback, even about punctuation.
But now we want to respond to one of the other common comments we often get: “The Optimist shouldn’t write about negative things about the university.”
First of all, we’re not the university website. Journalists are basically just trained in the art of passing on information and yes, there are lots of university organizations disseminating information. You can get information from the university website or a department blog about when and where events are happening.
But let’s say you want to know what’s going on with the university changing its LGBT policy. Unless you’re getting coffee with President Schubert tomorrow, you probably don’t have access to that information. What if it isn’t good news? What if you disagree with it?
Well, that’s where we come in. Not only do we have more access to university administration then most people, we’re also willing to take the heat for asking something a lot of people wouldn’t want to or would disagree with.
What if the university does something unethical? If we were the university website, we would try to put that on the down-low because that would make the university look bad. But as student journalists, we have the freedom to criticize the university. We can tell you the truth about even the negative things. We want you to know what the university is doing and why so you can be informed.
But first of all, if you’re reading this, you probably already think we’re pretty credible. So thank you. Thank you for giving us your time and reading the little bit of information we can give.