For over 90 years, The Montclarion has been the #MSUStudentVoice, a hub where students can find out what is going on in our campus community and important issues that they deserve to know about.
— Montclair State University Sprague Library (@montclair_lib) November 7, 2019
In recent weeks, many of the stories we have found have been critical and eye-opening to the student body on how our campus is run and what goes on behind closed doors.
As a result of our critical reporting, we are noticing more print issues being picked up off the racks around campus each week by students, faculty, staff and administrators.
Along with the growing number of people looking at our content, there have been a lot of mixed reactions and feedback to our stories; important, constructive and occasionally discouraging feedback.
There have been various stories we’ve reported on this semester that some may categorize as “bad press” from multiple facilities and students on campus, mainly in our News and Opinion sections. These stories have caused some controversy, but were thoroughly executed, reported and written by trusted members of our staff.
As student journalists, we are taught not to write press releases, but to report the truth. Each of us have ingrained the rules listed in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics, used to demonstrate proper reporting procedures and journalistic integrity.
We at The Montclarion wish The Daily Targum the best of luck in acquiring the funding you all deserve. The student voice is essential on a college campus and it cannot be expressed without the medium of student-run news. We offer 100% support in your fight! 📰 https://t.co/dtWMEi52K8
— The Montclarion (@TheMontclarion) May 14, 2019
The first rule listed in the code of ethics is to “seek truth and report it.” If we receive a tip or notice something on campus that is not right in the interest of the students, it is our responsibility to make them aware of it and hope to get the problem resolved.
If there is a story we feel needs to be told, it is our duty to report on it. This semester, we have gotten intel on various stories that some may think are tough for student journalists to cover, but these are the types of stories that have gotten us state awards for news writing, web project and editorial writing; three pieces of high quality, investigative and critical reporting.
We hope to continue reporting on stories like these, not just for the recognition, but for the learning experience. That is one of the things that many people forget when they speak to us. We are students who want to be taken seriously as journalists, but most importantly, we want to learn more.
We appreciate the assistance and feedback from members of the campus community, but some of what has come back to us has been very discouraging to us as students wanting to explore a field we all feel passionate about.
On the other hand, we have received some great feedback, especially in response to a piece called “Finding Nemo a Space on Campus,” written by contributing writer Carley Campbell.
After this piece was published, The Montclarion received a very nice email from Montclair State’s student trustee, Nikita Williams, who read the piece and encouraged Campbell to reach out because she could possibly help change the fish tank policy on campus.
This is the reason we continue to report stories like this. We at The Montclarion want to make positive changes on campus that will benefit the entire community. If we didn’t call attention to these problems, there would be no conversation about it.
All of us at The Montclarion want to thank the campus community for allowing us to continue the work we do each week to give Montclair State the news they deserve. Our team dedicates many hours during the week to produce high-quality reported, written, digital and multimedia material for our constituents and we are glad that our content is being reached and discussed.
We also want to especially thank our faculty advisor, Tara George, who has always been a supportive and encouraging mentor to all of us as we tackle these critical stories, and for teaching us to stick by our reporting and journalistic values.
The challenge facing college journalists is articulated so well by @rebecca_serviss in this @TheMontclarion editorial supporting @daily_targum, which lost student funding. @MontclairSCM @CenterCoopMedia https://t.co/wdosNMFFGo
— Tara George (@journoprof) May 16, 2019
As members of the Montclair State community, we hope to be treated with the same care and respect as our fellow students who are learning about a field they are passionate about and hope to become a part of in the near future.