Student journalism has always been an important part of campus life at institutions across the country. This year, student newspapers have been making national headlines for their work in important investigative pieces that lead to larger conversations.
Stanford University’s student newspaper, The Stanford Daily, uncovered that the school’s president committed scientific research misconduct. Because of their investigations editor’s work, Stanford’s board of trustees opened an investigation, and that president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, ultimately resigned.
The work of student press
In another student-led story, most sports fans were shocked to see an announcement that Northwestern University’s head football coach was suspended over the summer due to an apparent hazing incident. Details were vague, and The Daily Northwestern thought something was off so they decided to embark on an investigation which led to the story of the summer.
Student journalists uncovered a major hazing scandal that occurred with the coach’s knowledge. They got players to speak about gruesome details of freshman hazing that left the realm of “team-bonding” and quickly got closer to sexual abuse. As a result of the article, the coach was immediately fired and the university was forced to release more details from their investigation which confirmed these allegations.
Students knew something was wrong, and they took it upon themselves not to let this story get swept under the rug. This incident illustrates the need for student newspapers to conduct investigative journalism. Had The Daily Northwestern not been permitted to run the story, the Northwestern community would have been left in the dark about why their head football coach was suspended.
We’ve also seen student journalists face backlash from their school’s administration, as was the case with Ashland University’s The Collegian whose instructor was fired for promoting “too much investigative journalism.” In a powerful editorial, their managing editor Katelyn Meeks outlined problems the paper faced communicating with their president, and advice her former instructor left her with before departing.
“Be a thorn in the side of the administration,” said the instructor. It’s a virtue all student journalists wear on their chests.
Standing against suppression
The Loquitur stands firmly against all forms of media censorship and suppression, and will always stand with student journalism and free press around the world. Cabrini has relied on student journalism for 65 years, and this publication has been a strong, credible source of information ever since its inception.
We have experienced difficulty communicating with administration, faculty, and staff. This lack of communication severely hinders our ability to report information in a timely and accurate manner.
We have earned the trust and confidence of many in the Cabrini community, and we will not back down from any attempt to suppress information. We owe it to the community to deliver the information they rightly deserve. We must fulfill our obligation to them, and to do so we must have a degree of transparency from those at the top of our institution.
As students who chose to be digital communication majors, we not only signed up to take a journalism class but also to be part of a student-run news organization. We are students, but at the same time, we are journalists who take great pride in our obligation to keep the Cabrini community informed in a timely manner.
This obligation carries more weight than ever before in the light of Cabrini’s closure at the end of the school year. With so many questions left unanswered at the present, it’s our responsibility to inform our readers and uphold and preserve the Cabrini legacy, and that of our publication.