In the news, the standard is to publish “what’s accurate at the time.”
As journalists we get a tip about a story, look for sources to verify, find everyday people to tell us their thoughts and write what we have gleaned from our research. Most of the time we get it right. Sometimes we get it wrong.
As journalists we must print accurately because our goal is to get the truth. We publish what we believe is right, then let our readers decide.
President James Ammons expressed concerns about the accuracy of the story we published on Sept. 15 “FAMU absent at Capitol.” As today’s story details, Ammons attempted to attend the meeting with President Obama, but he was not cleared by security.
At press time on Sept. 14, we trusted the information we were given from the public relations office. With the deadline looming, and with no more detailed information available we went to print. Because of the nature of new media and the Internet we have the opportunity to update the story online.
Journalism is a public trust and we take that seriously. We also understand that we are an organ of student expression.
The term ‘student journalist,’ is a misnomer because the work we do for The Famuan is not ‘playing journalism.’ We learn by doing and this is a teaching and training tool for young journalists. However our craft is on display for all to see. The work of most other students is not.
Famuan staffers attempt what we see in the established press. Some lessons have been learned because our newsroom walls are crammed full with awards, but we know there is room for improvement. That’s why we are here- to learn.
But if we do get it wrong, we welcome well thought-out letters to the editor.
In hindsight, we have learned a valuable lesson and we appreciate the access Ammons afforded us. We can only hope for continued access when the need arises before our deadline.