The Importance of Journalism

Kevin Lair
Staff Columnist

Another academic year has come and passed at Washington College, and we are left to wonder whether this year has been better than the last.

As students, have we acquired the necessary skills and education in our classrooms to effectively translate them into solutions for today’s plaguing issues? Have we as athletes dedicated more time and practice to our athletic endeavors, and how will we improve before next year? And have we as student leaders taken charge and challenged ourselves enough to take charge of the world around us?

While we as students and faculty have been encompassed by our academic and social interests, we have also been consumed with a plethora of issues this past academic year. Between Hodson trays and Malaysian airlines, we faced communal achievements and personal losses as a campus, a nation, and as humans.

No matter how big or small an issue, we as responsible reporters and writers have captured and transmitted the most relevant news to our campus. Not only did we relay the news, but we have supplied our readers with the facts and means to resolve issues and bring about lasting change. The reason being, a well-informed citizenry is one that is ready to tackle the issues of the day most efficiently and effectively.

We brought to campus national news as polar opposite as Miley Cyrus’s freaky “twerk” and Russia’s take-over of Ukraine’s Crimea—hard to think what issues could lay in between those two topics. We also focused on more campus-oriented issues such as the removal of trays from Hodson, the controversial expression of art, and sadly, the loss of friends

The way we respond to the issues around us depends on how we present the news. As student writers, we are left to wonder if we proved more responsible, accurate, and active in our journalistic pursuits this year. While cable news channels like CNN have been stalled for weeks on 24/7 coverage of the Malaysian airline story, we as a campus news source have remain committed to providing cutting-edge, innovative news to our campus each and every week.

The many plaguing issues we covered this year can only be fixed through responsible journalism and active participation from our readers. Regardless of our own personal views or partisan differences, we have reported the news fairly and with consideration of opposing sides. We have tirelessly conducted our own research, captured the mindsets of our campus, and supplied our students and faculty with the resources to effectively improve the world around us.

The problem with many news organizations today is that they put partisan views and corporate interests over honest reporting, and they lack a broader message. We as a news organization have focused not only on empowering our students, faculty, and staff with straight-forward news but with deeper meanings.

Journalism is more than reporting the news; it is understanding the world around us and inspiring action. We are lucky in that we have an engaged student and faculty populace that searches for the truth and seeks improvement. It is truly an honor to serve the College community through our writing. This artistic form of academic enrichment and empowerment is one that we rightly pride ourselves on here at WC.

Through honest reporting, we are inspiring change within our campus, our communities, and our lives. With the innovative, responsive, and accurate reporting of our staff, this year has been another great one for The Elm, and our campus is now better off and better equipped to meet today’s global challenges.

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