13 years ago
Cristen Perkowski

What does it take to be a college journalist?


Advertisement


Well, for starters it takes some skill and a whole lot of mental strength.

We joke around the newsroom that we live our lives in two-week periods. The day starts and ends with newspaper. Interviews, classes, writing coaching all while trying to maintain a social life. It’s a constant struggle of deadlines and production nights, but in the end, it’s worth it. And for you, the reader, I hope it’s worth it too. That is the point of “Letters to the Editor.”

Get mad and write to the newspaper (mercury@utdallas.edu), that’s the beauty of free speech. But don’t forget the idea behind your pleasure.

We all have the right to free speech – advertisers and audiences alike. So, to those offended by the pro-life insert in the last issue, don’t forget advertisers have equal rights whether or not we agree with their message.

Choosing to print or refuse an ad is not a simple decision made by the Advertising Manager. Printing an ad may seem to be an endorsement of a particular product or position, but it’s not.

Per our advertising policy – printed every issue directly below – “The publication of advertising in The UTD Mercury does not constitute an endorsement of products or services by the newspaper, or The University of Texas at Dallas, or the governing board of the institution.”

Refusing ads set precedents that eventually will leave newspapers empty. Should we stop running ads for fast food because they don’t promote healthy eating habits? I think not.

We don’t run ads with libelous, illegal or graphic content. Messages hurt no one. Just remember what your mama said; sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.

And to those offended by our writing content, that’s not our intent, but it’s impossible to please everyone.

We attempt to bring you well-rounded news, but our newspaper is not designed to be a public relations organ for the university. We appreciate administration, faculty and staff support, but a newspaper must remain separate from possible interference.

We must remain as unbiased in our news writing and as original in our editorial writing as possible.

And just for the record, we are not state-funded, and we are only school-subsidized. We are required to earn a sizeable percentage of our operating costs through aforementioned advertising revenue.

So, for the next couple months, I will be your summer editor and in the fall the managing editor. Email me ideas and suggestions, and if you really want to make an impact, come in and write for us (we are located in the SU, Student Life Suite 2.416).

I look forward to your continued readership, and when you write me, try to be quasi-nice. Nobody enjoys 9 a.m. hate notes.