Each semester seems to pass by faster than the one before. Fortunately, it also disseminates more knowledge and experience than the one before.
This semester took many unexpected turns.
One of the first major happenings was becoming editor in chief.
All of a sudden, I was a leader again. All of a sudden people are blaming me for unfair coverage or lack of coverage for their organization or event.
All of a sudden, The Famuan is expected to be a public relations tool for every organization on campus.
That really proved true this semester when The Famuan published open and honest stories on hazing, teacher attendance, Homecoming events, homosexuality, etc.
When open and honest includes negative comments, heads will roll. Or so some people think.
The Famuan is not required to only publish positive articles.
It is a grave misconception that because an event or organization is related to the university, we must report on only the positive aspects of it.
Not only is that an erroneous assumption, but it is ridiculous and unethical.
Why ridiculous? Get real. No facet of FAMU (or any institution) is perfect. So why pretend that it is?
Maybe by reporting on the positive and negative, the negative will improve. But by pretending that everything is honky dory, no improvements get made and people remain unhappy.
How is it unethical? That’s a little obvious but I’ll humor my readers nonetheless.
As a newspaper, we have a responsibility to accurately and fairly report on any topic. Fairly does not mean make everything look perfect when it isn’t.
It is impossible to be accurate when you have to choose your words carefully for fear of offending someone.
First and foremost, The Famuan is a newspaper. If you are ashamed of what you read about yourself, maybe you should check yourself and change. If you’re offended by what you’ve read, maybe you should grow up and get thicker skin.
In order to read an article reflecting only the positive aspect of your organization or event – you must do the impossible. Be perfect.
This column is dedicated to my son Solomon Tomblin who I hope will one day benefit from its wisdom.
Danielle Wright, 23, is a senior theatre student from London, England. She is The Famuan’s editor in chief and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.