A campus newspaper reaches out

Friday, February 8, 2008

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Far too often student journalism gets into the news as a newsmaker itself because of a negative situation — battling censorship by administrators and the like.

Better that student journalists be able to focus more on matters that improve, not just preserve, news coverage. At the University of South Dakota’s student paper, The Volante, new Editor in Chief Michelle Rydell recently wrote of a challenge and an opportunity, inviting the campus community to join in efforts to develop a diverse staff and news sources, the better to report on all interests on the USD campus.

Rydell sought racial diversity, but also invited “people of all cultures, heritages and lifestyles” to come to the campus newspaper’s offices and “ask questions. Get involved.”

To do a good job of reporting, she said, “we need people of all walks of life beside us, working together to ensure that (the news) is told in its entirety.”

Rydell didn’t say it exactly this way, but I will: The value of a free press is best demonstrated when that press reaches out to, reflects, and reports on all parts of its community — fairly, accurately and completely.

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