The university was buzzing on social media following the indefinite suspension of GSP and Galaxy for alleged hazing incidents. While some professional journalists in the workforce reached out to their alma mater and applauded the efforts of the breaking news, some students dissented in the light of negative press.
Negative press does dominate the world of news. Many, including myself, believe that some negative stories reach the front page simply for the engagements and attention it receives compared to a traditional story.
This is not the case at the Optimist. Don’t let the name misrepresent what our job is: to inform our audience of what is taking place on campus and with its members. The most newsworthy information, positive or negative, will be displayed for the community to read and interpret.
When Clayton Cooper, the president of Galaxy, tells us to leave his fraternity out of the spotlight until more information is available, it’s the exact opposite of what many student journalists are attempting to do, report the news. While it’s acceptable to request that a story be delayed, the significance of an investigation cannot be thrown under the rug.
The confirmed knowledge of an investigation is newsworthy, and we will not be curtailed to avoid such pressing matters to the liking of individual(s) directly involved.
It is understandable that no one would want their organization highlighted on a negative spotlight. However, the fraternities have no one to blame regarding the negative press except their own members that sparked an investigation.
We will continue to report all newsworthy information that we can obtain and confirm. Not every story on campus will reach the Optimist for coverage, but we will not be hindered by individuals who try to censor content for their own self-interest.
I don’t take joy out of reporting distressing news, let alone from my own fraternity. But that’s not what journalism is about. It’s not about the journalist; It’s about the story.
For those who wish the Optimist was “more optimistic”, help find us stories across campus that reflect that very idea instead of creating negative press for yourself. Reach out to us if you believe something needs to be covered.
The COVID-19 pandemic, a heated presidential election and racial tensions are many reasons why negative press has been prominent over the past several years. However, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have been published. We can critique stories, columns and editorials, but just because the story may highlight negative events unfolding in a certain environment, it doesn’t lessen the importance of the story.
Without all forms of news being highlighted, ignorance runs rampant.