Our duty is to write the truth

Events happen every day, good and bad, that people would like to know about, and should be aware of.

As journalists, it is our job to report these events so the public knows what is happening around the world.

“The role of a journalist is someone who remains objective, meaning that they report the news in an unbiased way, whether that news is unfortunate or not, or whether it is about one of our own,” said Jessica Prokop, editor-in-chief of The Linfield Review.

As a result, some people aren’t portrayed in a positive manner. However, this isn’t the intention of journalists; they simply dig for the facts, putting together the pieces of a story to discover what happened.

Events that put people in a negative spotlight, such as arrests, are written about daily in newspapers. The journalist isn’t placing judgment on the arrested person, but rather informing the public about what is happening in its community. Journalists aren’t out to get anyone, they are trying to tell people the facts.

There is always the occasional journalist who gets the facts wrong or who twists a story with bias. This is called libel, and a victim of libel can sue the journalist for it.

Last week’s issue of The Linfield Review featured a story about a student who was arrested for multiple charges of sexual abuse. The intent of the story wasn’t to place blame on him. The article simply told the facts of what has happened, and it therefore, was not libel.

When something happens in the Linfield community, it is our job to report it. The Linfield Review is a real newspaper, and just like any other paper, it attempts to publish any newsworthy event in our community.

Plus, The Linfield Review is  meant to be a training tool. If we can’t learn to write about serious situations now, how will we grow to be professional journalists in a world full of difficult events?

“The example I would like to point out is that The Oregonian just wrote about one of its staff who died of a heart attack,” Prokop said.

The Oregonian published a story about its own Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, 63-year-old Bob Caldwell, who died of a heart attack after having sex with a 23-year-old woman who was paid money for books and school supplies in exchange for sexual favors.

While some people may get upset about what is published, journalists can’t ignore newsworthy events because some people may get offended by what is published. It would be unethical to ignore a story simply because it may upset some people.

If one disagrees with an article that is published in the newspaper, take action by writing a Letter-to-the-editor. The Linfield Review will gladly publish all submitted letters to the editor.

Instead of complaining about an article, one should be proactive and voice his or her opinion on the matter. That is how a newspaper is supposed to work. All sides of a story are meant to be voiced.

-The Review Editorial Board




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