By Marissa Gugala – News Editor
The First Amendment of the Constitution protects a citizen’s freedom of religion, speech, press, right to peaceably assemble, and right to petition the government. All of these are important rights. The 1851 Chronicle especially values its freedom of the press.
Newspapers are often labeled as “fake news,” with journalists often being censored and surrounded by bias. With all these issues, how is one supposed to trust the media?
The 1851 Chronicle strives to be a source of information that is credible, reliable and objective. We have a responsibility to report the truth, regardless of what that truth is. It is difficult to fulfill this duty when student journalists are told we cannot report on events because they are private. However, these events are promoted on social media or through a campus-wide email. Are these events private if they are promoted to the campus through social media?
These events are an opportunity to address the issues occurring on campus – whether racial, inclusion or other sensitive topics. It is no secret Lasell has experienced some of these.
The 1851 Chronicle is a perfect resource for such reporting. Since we have a duty to re- port an objective and unbiased truth, we are a resource not just for information but also change on campus. The 1851 Chronicle cannot aid in this change if we don’t cover events.
More than once, the staff has been told by event organizers we cannot report specific events. That there will be another event that is open to the public. Merely reporting on these so-called public events gives the campus one view, the one that is being promoted. Having the ability to attend and report on things such as discussion groups allows The 1851 Chronicle to obtain real information regarding real situations or problems on campus. These are first-hand accounts from people these issues affect.
The 1851 Chronicle is accommodating for those who do not want their names, photos or quotes in a story. We do not publish a person’s name or photo without acquiring permission. The staff understands certain topics being discussed at events are personal. We identify ourselves at events as student journalists because of this.
The First Amendment is what allows newspapers to report the truth, regardless of what that truth is. The right prevents censor- ship, and is the reason why The 1851 Chronicle takes it seriously.
We are not discounting the rights of other students. Or the fact that they are offering personal information. We are merely saying we have a right and obligation to report what occurs on campus and will protect students and faculty while doing so.
Russian novelist and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once said, “Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation’s heart…”
We are the student journalists for the 1851 Chronicle, let us tell the story.