As a student publication, we owe it to our readers to provide the most factual and up-to-date information in all sections of our paper. A daunting thought at first, yet an rewarding feat to achieve every day of the year.
Our hope is that students trust us to deliver work that at the very least keeps them aware of their surroundings. And to also understand that we make mistakes.
As journalists, sometimes it can be easy to passively complete our work without realizing the impact it has to our readers. We become so focused on getting the article to a standard of writing beyond what we’ve done before, and this leaves us forgetting our motivations as a newspaper.
As journalists not only are we responsible for informing, and doing our best to take the right steps to put together our articles, but we have to be willing and ready to accept when we’ve faulted.
It’s simple to become angry and frustrated with us when we do make mistakes. I wholeheartedly encourage you, our readers, to openly criticize us, call us out on our mistakes, and stay on top of the events we report on. This is a fundamental portion of our job, and managing that with our lives as students is a tricky playing field.
It can be tough as journalists to work through the process, and internalize the fact that eventually we will make a mistake, and some will have to face that mistake publicly. Regardless, this is part of our job.
As much as I encourage you to be a part of our conversation about the University of Toronto Mississauga, I encourage you to do so respectfully and thoughtfully. If you know there are ways for us to improve, suggest it. If you are aware that students could benefit from reading what we report on, pass that along. Even if you believe that we’re a paper that lacks credibility and should never be taken seriously, tell people that too. Though, I challenge those who are against us and what we do to think about why they feel that way, and to respectfully offers methods of improvement.
Using your power to have a voice at this campus can make it simple to downplay the work that we complete. Using that voice to have a discussion on ways to improve is harder to do, and this is what I hope for students at UTM to work on.
The excuse that student engagement with us lacks because we’re a commuter campus opens the opportunity for students lose sight of anything other than their marks and their degree. Our newspaper and other student newspapers were created to preform what the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail won’t focus on, and that’s issues right here on campus.
We can still be a commuter campus and open our eyes and ears to the issues on campus. To question information, break through the university ideal lifestyle, and challenge those with the power to change the way you engage with your campus.
Don’t forget, your experiences on this campus and your time here is the time you get to explore and create habits for yourself that you’ll want to take with you into your career and future. While studying and learning to balance your time with courses is essential in your growth, so is staying active with the environment you operate in. Questioning decisions made by those we place in positions of power, criticizing journalist outlets, discussing various issues, are all skills that we should be adopting amongst other skills.
While we hold your elected officials to account, hold us to account. I will always encourage that. While most ignore or reject their faults, our goal is to always accept them and learn where we can improve.
It is our faults and the lessons learned that make The Medium the newspaper it is today. We provide our service for your benefit, and I implore you to engage with us.
You can do better as a student, and so can we as a publication.
All student journalists live a double life and will make mistakes. Our responsibilities to you is to report and inform, but also be truthful and come to terms with our flaws. Our growth can only happen if we follow by these motivations.
The Medium will always be here for your benefit, and my hope is that you continue to engage with us or even start to.