I am aware that some people are ignorant of the practice of journalism.
Although they have little to no idea what it takes to do our job or how we do it, people make assumptions anyway. Some people think we’re spies, gossipmongers, and uninformed. This is absolutely not true.
People need and use the information we provide in order to make informed decisions. Yet some resent us for obtaining that information.
So, I’ve taken it upon myself to clear up any misunderstandings there may be.
Journalists do not exist to create good or bad images of anyone or anything. We are not fiction writers. We are no one’s personal propaganda tool.
We adhere to strict codes of conduct. We report the truth as the parties involved present it to us and from the information we collect. We aim to be accurate, fair and do no harm. We hold no governmental positions and stay clear of any conflicts of interest.
We are better informed than most people because it is our job to get the information in the first place. Unlike other professionals, we must be knowledgeable of more than just our field of interest. We need to know at least a little about everything. What we don’t know, we find out.
We are researchers. We uncover what we do not know not because we are devious, but because we look where no one else knows or cares to look.
One of the accusations people hurl at us is we take things they said out of context or made them up all together.
Journalists will report what you say, as you say it, unless it is off the record.
When people say mean things they later regret, they are not misquoted. That is called sticking your foot in your mouth. And it is not the reporter’s fault. To accuse the journalist of unethical behavior because of your actions is ridiculous.
The student media has no hidden agenda. We have no bottom line to protect or advertisers to please. Journalism is more than what we study; it encompasses our entire existence.
We are not politicians and we are not trying to win any popularity contests.
We are however, the voice of Florida A&M University.
Augustine Rho, 22, is a broadcast journalism student from Fort Lauderdale. She is the Famuan Opinions Editor. She can be reached at Rhoblaze@aol.com.