In the words of Mark Witherspoon, adviser to the Iowa State Daily, journalism is the world’s greatest public service.
In contrast, journalists constantly face an uphill battle of exposing issues that directly affect their readers with the aim to enact justice.
Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” led to the creation of the Federal Drug Administration. Woodward and Bernstein’s work on Watergate contributed to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Especially today, journalists fill a fundamental role as the fourth branch of government. Contrary to current beliefs, we are not “fake news” or “an enemy of the American people.”
Over the 2016-2017 school year, The Echo has covered 14 articles regarding Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government’s actions and events. We rely heavily on the cooperation of our student government. Just as ASCLUG aims to best serve the students of Cal Lutheran, so does The Echo.
If ASCLUG is proud of its decisions, it should have no problem with our demand for transparency. With access to hundreds of thousand of dollars in student fees, complete understanding of ASCLUG remains vital to Cal Lutheran students.
The Echo staff reaches out for interviews to make sure our stories have a variety of viewpoints with the most accurate information. Just as we respect ASCLUG representatives’ time and other commitments, we expect the same in return. Not returning emails or requesting email interviews exclusively, instead of more informative and candid interviews such as in-person or over the phone, does not reflect well on perceived transparency.
Continuously, reporters struggle with gathering information from ASCLUG investigations due to numerous roadblocks. We, as the editorial staff on The Echo, ask for a mutually respectful relationship to foster an atmosphere that gives reporters the ability to produce their best content to inform the student body about its government.
On numerous occasions, emails have gone un-responded to for an entire week, someone has answered on behalf of others and many others have made excuses for interview unavailability. Current ASCLU President Daniel Lacey has always been available for in-person interviews, so we ask all other representatives to do the same as we transition to new leadership.
The Echo is also taking steps toward transparency and serving the student body.
This represents the views of the entire editorial staff, not including the reporters and photojournalists for The Echo.