The Globe is an editorially independent newspaper

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Editor-in-Chief

The Globe is an editorially independent newspaper. We are entirely student-run, and no one from the university is allowed to tell us what we can or cannot publish. The minute that the university makes a decision on what can be published, we will stop being a newspaper.


But editorial control goes far beyond the direct decision of what can and cannot be published. Recently, our independence has been challenged by many different parties.


First, many people we have interviewed have attempted to demand access to the editing process, whether it is to review a draft of the story or decide which quotes will be used from them. That is not how a professional newsroom operates and it certainly is not how our newsroom operates.


Although there is nothing stopping a student from submitting a piece to us for publication to share their draft with a source, once that piece is in the hands of the editorial board, I can guarantee that no one involved in the story will have any dictation on the editing process nor any involvement.


While university faculty and administrators have made requests for this, they are not the only people who have tried to dictate our coverage of events. Many have attempted to demand that we not include certain, objectively true facts in our coverage because they may cause controversy.


I want to make something clear: if you say something on the record to a journalist in an interview that you agreed to participate in, they have the full right to use that statement, no matter what. You can politely ask them not to include that statement, and they may entertain the idea, but you have no right to make demands or attempt to intimidate someone, especially a student.


Likewise, even if you refuse to comment on an event that happened, you cannot hide behind your lack of comment as an expectation that the event will not be mentioned. If a subject refuses to comment on something, we will always indicate it as such.


Most importantly, the question of fairness. The question of fairness is raised a lot when discussing journalism, especially in the age of modern discourse. People are quick to criticize a news organization for portraying someone in a negative light as unfair. This is ridiculous. Good journalism has no concern for fairness because the only thing fair is the truth.


If you do something, you did it. It is as simple as that.


I want to also emphasize that we are students. We are learning. I am learning. I have made mistakes in the past and am happy to acknowledge these mistakes. Just don’t try to tell me that I’ve made a mistake when I haven’t.


In 1984, a book that I have never read but will get around to eventually, there is a famous quote where George Orwell writes “the Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and your ears. It was their final, most essential command.”


No, Point Park University is not an authoritarian government. No, they are not making direct attempts to censor us. But clear disdain for some of our recent reporting has been voiced to us by administrators and administrative employees. 


It would be unprofessional of me to go into further detail, but I want to make something clear. Any administrator, whether they’ve been here for decades or were just hired, needs to have the utmost respect for student media, and student media’s independence. If they don’t, they should find a job at a different university.