Editorial: To whom it may concern

School newspapers often clash with their school’s administration, and The Skyline View is no exception. Since most educated people have a healthy distrust of the media, and most journalists have a healthy distrust of authority, some issues are bound to come up.

During the past school year; however, tension appears to have increased. While the effects of the media guidelines implemented last year have not lived up to our initial fears, and there are still staff and faculty who have been enormously helpful as sources for our stories, we have continued to have trouble accessing people and information that we need from all branches of student services, from the financial aid office, to Sparkpoint, to public safety.

Although the public information office is usually kind and accommodating when we request information, regurgitating information from public relations does not make for the best stories or writing habits, and the public-relations approved email interviews that we usually have to do to access information from student services fails to give us the reporting, research and interview skills that we are here, paying tuition, to learn. We often have inexperienced or brand new writers for our stories, who will inevitably make mistakes, but cutting off information from us will not stop that from happening and will not help us learn.

Information from student services has either become more difficult to attain, or we’ve become more aware of the difficulty this semester. In addition, we’ve managed to greatly upset a number of staff and faculty members, including Skyline President Regina Stanback-Stroud herself, with our editorial cartoon earlier in the semester. It took months for us to become aware of some of the exact reasons that people were upset, and although we feel terrible about how it was interpreted, it’s been a learning experience for us.

However, the opinions section of the paper is labeled as such for a reason, and views expressed in it belong to whoever produced the content. Editorial cartoons are frequently scathing and critical of public figures, and major publications often receive negative feedback on them as well. It’s not always pretty, but the opinions section and the editorial cartoon are expressions of first amendment rights, whether people like it or not, and as journalists we value our right to free speech. Opinions are not intended to be informative in the way that news or features are, but rather an expression of the writer’s thoughts and a platform for opening dialogue about various issues, which, regardless of public opinion, our editorial cartoon did accomplish.

Some of the criticism we’ve received has been discouraging, to say the least, especially when we already feel that our publication and department are not supported or respected by much of the administrative staff. Given that our requests for interviews and information are often dismissed or refused and many people don’t trust us or think we’re competent enough to cover some of the stories that we do, we’ve been surprised that something in the opinions section has garnered such a strong reaction. If we’re not going to be respected or taken seriously anyway, it’s unreasonable for our entire publication to be criticized as much as it has been for a cartoon, and further drives home our sense that there is a rift between us and administration.

In the end, The Skyline View and administration have the same goal: to serve and educate students. We’re unable to do that to our fullest capacity without accommodation from school officials and, as a result, it should be no surprise that we’re disenchanted and critical of administration.