There are no victims in journalism

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As journalists it is our responsibility to impartially find and share the news. Through interviews and first-hand accounts, we report what we are told by students and administration. However, some pieces are designed to show a writer’s point of view or opinion. The editorial page gives the reader a one-sided view with the intention of evoking thought or establishing a comedic effect. This type of article is not meant to be a factual, unbiased news report.

The core purpose of opinion articles is to be controversial and provoke a response from readers.

In last week’s issue, we published an opinion article in which we made an attempt to humorously share an opinion on the subject of underage drinking at school events in a thought-provoking way.

And though many students didn’t agree with this opinion, its purpose was to prompt seniors to reflect on the balance (or lack thereof) between their academic and social lives.

The article exemplified an essential pillar of journalism –specifically opinion-style journalism — to provoke thought and dialogue.

We have received a lot of feedback from students who disagreed with these views. These students felt that including the specifics of a recent underage drinking incident was insensitive. However, as a news medium, the inclusion of this incident was imperative to the article.

It may be easier to pretend it didn’t happen, but as journalists, ignoring the ocurance would be wrong. As the school’s only news source, it is our job to report and comment on stories like these.

For this reason, we have published an article for this week that further covers the story and gives the perspective of one of the students involved.

This article was not published to garner further attention for the newspaper, or as an apology towards the parties offended. Rather, it was written to achieve our aforementioned goal: to report on stories relevant to current student life at New Trier

There is no wrong in covering this topic. That’s journalism. Whether it is student or teacher misconduct, it is a responsibility of ours to bring news to the New Trier community.

Regardless of your reaction to last week’s opinion– anger, condemnation, approval, or, as we saw on social media, mockery – we encourage this type of debate. It’s what the principle of free press is all about.

It’s what makes our publication the all-school forum that it strives to be. If you feel strongly enough about any story we cover, feel free to submit a letter or email to the New Trier News. We want to continue the conversation.


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