By Chris Ryndak
In this class, we are learning how to be journalists. But who do we really represent with the stories we’re writing?
When I worked at the Spectrum and needed to talk to someone, I always had that piece of information to fall back on — that I worked at the Spectrum.
The person I was interviewing then trusted me to accurately and honestly attribute their quotes and information in a legitimate publication.
That leads me to a major concern I have about our assignment for this class. If I have to call someone like Gerald Schoenle, chief of University Police, for the article we’re supposed to write, how do I approach him?
More importantly, how do I present myself?
In a time when we are questioning who a journalist really is, how do I call an expert for statistics and insight without any credibility to my name?
Essentially, I’m writing a paper for a class. But writing a news piece is really so much more than that. Journalism sometimes forces us to look past the basic facts and ask, “Why?” You don’t get that with your run-of-the-mill term paper.
But in the context of this class, we’re more students than journalists.
There’s no way Deep Throat would have talked to Woodward if Woodward was simply a student in English 106.
Now I know we’re not working on stories of that magnitude, with anonymous sources and the like, but why should anyone take little old me seriously if were I to call a department within the university and ask for information, irregardless if that information is public knowledge?
How do I ensure that it’s all done in a professional manner, even if the story I’m writing may never see print in any public periodical?