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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

You need us and we need you

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The Main Point is an opinion written collectively by The University Star’s Editorial Board. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of our entire publication.

Collegiate journalists live through the stories they tell and the people who share their stories with them. Student newsrooms, while you remember people, places and things that go wrong, on Student Press Freedom Day, we remember you.
When a story runs, journalists have the opportunity to change lives. We take that job seriously. Some see our passion for spreading truth as a platform for hate, but they could not be more wrong.
We value the institutions and people we cover and hold ourselves to the highest level of accountability. What we do comes from a place of love, a sense of duty and an optimistic hope for the future.
Sometimes, however, that future comes with uncertainty.
Rebecca Liebson, a reporter from Stony Brook University’s The Statesman, broke a story involving the firing of over 20 professors. Instead of being praised over her work, she was criticized over her ethics and her objectivity was called into question.
When looking through the lens of a fair, objective, factual and universal truth, student journalists are often hit where it hurts most: their hearts and funding.
Harley Duncan of The Flor-Ala, the University of North Alabama’s student newspaper, reported that professors were in direct violation of Title IX policies. Duncan’s reporting brought justice to several women who were sexually harassed by a professor. The articles revealed the university’s need to hire a full-time Title IX coordinator and set a precedent of accountability. Despite the outcome, The Flor-Ala’s adviser, Scott Morris, was fired and the publication was scrutinized for the articles.
Staff members of The University Star were threatened with numerous forms of violence following publication of an opinion piece in 2017. The Star was the subject of talks about defunding following the publication of the column. However, none of this stopped us from continuing our proud print tradition.
Many student newspapers are being turned into lab papers—a newspaper created in a faculty-led class—or losing university funding, like Rutgers University’s The Daily Targum, who had its student fee funding cut. As recently as Dec. 9, 2019 the University of Colorado Boulder’s media college announced that it will stop funding its student-run newspaper, the CU Independent, at the end of the school year. Instead, administrators are opting for a more faculty-led “student multimedia enterprise” to launch next fall.
Student journalists are held to the same standard as professionals because they are uninhibited by student status. Student newsrooms offer aspiring media professionals the chance to do real work that matters and impacts real people.
In August, when Kurt Volker resigned as the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine, Arizona State’s student newspaper The State Press broke the story, beating national and regional papers across the country.
Across the country, student newsrooms have successfully filled the gap within local, state and national outlets to deliver truth.
However, even being the tip of the spear can prove a daunting task. Staff members of the historic and decorated, The Daily Northwestern, Northwestern University’s student-run newspaper, received numerous comments from the journalism community for their coverage of a student protest and their methods of reporting.
After what was likely a horrific experience for The Daily Northwestern, the sun continued to rise in the following days. News continued to break. Meaningful action continued to take place and the surrounding community still needed to be covered.
That’s what our jobs are all about.
Student journalism is not always pretty, but it’s not supposed to be. Every newsroom has a horror story, as they should. Like all mistakes, they allow the practitioners a chance at redemption and we get that every time we walk into the newsroom or have our name attached to a story.
Defend the First Amendment, ’til the very end.

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