By Zev Vernon-Lapow
Ultimately, what can be said cannot change what has been done. But what is done now can change what has been said.
Journalism has been swept away and altered in America and here at our university.
Nationally there has been an unending effort for a simplified objectivity, which has limited our ability to really cover the news. This concept, which is crucial to journalism, has been transformed to the presentation of polarities, showing the extremes and often ignoring the common middle ground many of us share.
Despite our diverse personal values and beliefs, we at City on a Hill Press have often been swept up in this movement.
Locally, the elimination of journalism classes has made covering the news a near impossibility, as reporters are sent into the field without adequate training. How can we be supreme journalists if we learn from those without formal training?
The strong alternative weekly that once thrived could only exist in an environment where young journalists were fully trained and then asked to push the boundaries of the medium. We were forced to spend too much time learning the form and imitating the mainstream, to always think about representing the alternative, the underrepresented and the disenfranchised.
Before most of the editorial board moves to other places, we want to leave one example of what campus journalism can be. That is, we have pushed the limits of what is said and published by challenging conventions of the mainstream media. More importantly, we directly represent the voices of our community, by providing the space to have a public forum on the war.
Many of us approached this issue with a bias, a bias that this war is wrong. This viewpoint is all too readily silenced or trivialized in the mainstream. This opinion section is a chance to get our voices heard, and speak as individuals in a more comprehensive way. I hope that this issue can provoke thought and then action, for we have a responsibility to stand up for what we believe in.
All too often the personal gets in the way of the political. But we forget that the personal is inherently political. While we did our best to cover the atrocities, we believed it was inappropriate to state our opinions in all articles. Though this is a reasonable guideline, we followed it like law, forgetting, as journalists often are forced to do, that we too have voices. Consequently, we have at times mirrored the mainstream and not pushed the boundaries as far as we could have.
It is only in hindsight that we know that. We have come through a tunnel of public opinion and we are at a point where there is a resounding sense of defeat surrounding this war.
In a way it is easy to do this issue now. A tipping point has occurred in public perception of the war and the anti-war movement has become much more mainstream. However, as the war continues there is a threat of escalation. Because of Iran, because of Iraq, because of Afghanistan, it is our responsibility to speak out now.
May the thoughts in these pages help us to halt the atrocities that are being committed in our name, by our nation and funded by our tax dollars. Read this issue and think critically about the war, but don’t stop at the last page, in fact don’t stop until the war is over. Our beliefs are what make us individuals; it is all to easy to hide them. But democracy relies on all voices being heard, and a constant struggle for the success of what you believe in.