Welcome Editorial: New Decade, New Stories, Same Echo

Isabella Breda, Editor in Chief

Amid piecing together stories from women with unresolved Title IX reports on campus, the Echo staff provided in-depth coverage of another season of fire, Borderline and all things new and changing in 2019, and with a fresh group of reporters, three new faces in the editorial staff and a thirst for news, we are committed to keeping the California Lutheran University community informed in 2020.

Student reporters enrolled in The Echo class dedicate time within their full course load to chase down stories affecting the campus community. Whether reporters are poolside at a swim meet, attending administrative or student government meetings, sitting down with new faculty or filing through conduct handbooks, the ultimate goal is developing journalistic skills through practical experience.

The Echo, however, is also an opportunity for our staff to dip their toes in the waters of the uncertainty which is the existence of the press. According to The New York Times reporter Michael M. Grynbaum, “on Twitter, President Trump deployed the phrase ‘fake news’ 273 times this year (2019).” Not to mention, just last week, the U.S. State Department denied an NPR reporter press credentials to travel with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a few days after he said he was dissatisfied with his coverage in the press.

Those studying journalism are under mounting pressure to armor up with the greatest levels of accuracy, storytelling ability and truthfully, mental strength, before graduating into an era where the credibility, authenticity and relevance of the press is in question. Today, success in the industry means every moment is committed to gathering information and sharing the most hard-hitting stories.

“The great dreaded thing every reporter lives with is what you don’t know,” Watergate reporter Bob Woodward said during an interview on PBS Frontline. “The source you didn’t go to. The phone call you didn’t return. The back of the document you didn’t look at. The eternal pursuit. It goes on all of the time.”

These around-the-clock efforts contribute to the sole purpose of local news media–creating an informed, educated and engaged public. According to researcher Rachel Brown, author of “A New Role for Student Media: College Newspapers and the Crisis in Journalism,” “a loss of local journalism poses the risk of citizens living in an ‘information vacuum.’”

The Echo’s purpose is to serve the student body, but its existence is only possible with your engagement. So please, follow us on social media for instant updates, bookmark our website on your favorite browser and stop by the flagpoles on Tuesday mornings to pick up a paper – yes we still print physical papers.

In 1961, the first copy of The Echo was printed and read across the campus of California Lutheran College. Since ‘61, The Echo has earned dozens of California College Media Awards for our reporting and we hope to continue to provide in-depth coverage of the issues that matter.

This semester, you can expect to see continued reporting on policies and procedures within on-campus administrative organizations, as well as lighthearted student life events, student-led theatre performances, the triumphs and tribulations of the Regals and Kingsmen, and ultimately, the characteristic highs and lows of college life.

Recognizing our accolades is important, but also recognizing we too are students and are not going to be perfect is equally as important. You, as our audience are our driver, so share what you care about with us and we will do our best to pursue and print the truth.