The Trinitonian has been Trinity University’s sole independent student-run newspaper since 1902. There is no certain record of how many people have worked for our publication, but it’s somewhere in the thousands. Of those thousands, some have gone on to pursue careers in journalism. Many have not. But all understand just why journalism is important.
This week, our staff talked to countless first-year students about our publication and what we do. Many told us they were the editor of their high school paper or yearbook; some had even won awards for high school journalism. The idea of an independent, uncensored news source run entirely by students excited those who asked whether we were paid by the university to write impressive stories for visitors on campus.
For our staff members, the idea is ludicrous. Our job is not to produce content to make Trinity look good. It’s also not to produce content to make Trinity look bad, though we’re sure the Office of Admissions speculates we purposefully publish negative stories on the front page during weekends in which prospective students are visiting campus.
Our response? Who wouldn’t want to go to a school that gives its students the opportunity to hold its administrators, faculty, staff and even fellow students accountable? Who wouldn’t want to attend a university that upholds the First Amendment despite its private status?
In a time where lies and falsities and distrust run rampant, the truth and impartial information is more important than ever. Journalists are more important than ever.
This need for honest, unbiased journalism is why the Trinitonian adopts the Code of Ethics presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. It’s also why each of our stories is read by at least six people before publication, sometimes more. It’s why we train our staff to seek truth and to minimize harm. It’s why we act independently and transparently. The Trinitonian has aimed to do so for more than a century.
Sure, we hold people accountable, but we need to be held accountable, too. This year, we’ll produce 26 issues of the Trinitonian, and no issue will be error-free.
Help us be better journalists: tell us when we make mistakes and hold us accountable for the content we publish.
We’re not perfect; we’re journalists.