Last Friday the Trinitonian hit the stands, but only for a little while. Students, faculty and especially we at the Trinitonian were shocked to see many newspaper stands suddenly empty later that morning. Students were walking around with puzzled looks on their faces, asking “Where can I get the Trinitonian?”
Unfortunately, full bundles of our campus newspaper were taken from their stands and thrown into the trash. Actually, many of them were tossed considerately in the recycling bins. Somehow that didn’t really make it all better for us.
Besides committing a crime (the first issue is free and all subsequent issues cost 50 cents), these Trinitonian bandits were attacking the principle that we as Americans fight to protect: the right to information. The right to ask questions and find answers. The fact that this kind of petty crime and disregard for the rights of others to information is happening at Trinity is unfortunate.
The bandits also disregarded the fact that we at the Trinitonian are trying to run a business. Not only do we have a responsibility to provide information to our community, we are accountable to our advertisers. Advertising revenue is essential to running our business. In order to keep our end of the deal with our advertisers to distribute 2,200 issues, we had to print 500 more copies, which cost us money that we just don’t have.
It is safe to assume that the reason the newspapers were stolen was the front page article detailing the alleged violations behind the suspension of the Gamma Chi Delta sorority. That was clearly the most controversial piece of news we broke in that issue (unless the culprits really were the cast of “Cloud 9″ and they hated our review).
Over the past week we at the Trinitonian have heard comments of both support and opposition. We would like to now address our critics:
- We contacted members of the suspended Greek organizations for interviews before and after publication of the April 13 article and no one was willing to make any comment. If the article is missing those voices, it’s because they chose to keep quiet.
- We reported the information we had at the time. We took special care to indicate that the contents of the sanction letter that we published were allegations, not facts. If you would like to make a public statement against those allegations, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is useless for us to receive comments that the allegations we printed are mostly untrue if no one is willing to provide details supporting those claims.
- If you found irony in the fact that we ran an article on the best bars in San Antonio along with an investigation of hazing activity in our Greek system, you probably didn’t read either of the articles (and you don’t know what irony is). The article by Deanna Husting promotes safe and legal consumption of alcohol and in no way promotes the kind of illegal behavior outlined in the sanction letter.
The (actual) irony of the whole situation is that by trying to make the information unavailable, the bandits merely heightened everyone’s demand for it. They made the article forbidden fruit and everyone eager to eat it up. By noon on Friday, trinitonian-theme1.mystagingwebsite.com had 2,500 hits, a record hike in viewership for one month let alone a single morning. After digging through trash and recycling bins all morning, we handed out a good portion of the recovered papers to grateful students and faculty members.
We are a newspaper. Our job is to report the news. We are dedicated to reporting the facts accurately and without libel. If you think we’re doing a bad job, write us a letter and we’ll publish your criticism for the whole community to see. We don’t have time for personal attacks.