A couple of weeks ago The Pointer was interested in publishing a story about a class in the science department. A reporter called a professor and was promptly told she had no business writing the article. The editor-in-chief contacted the professor shortly after the exchange and, upon trying to reason with said faculty member, was told the publication had no right to publish the article unless the journalist had a background in the sciences.
We would first like to point out that it is not the job of the student reporter to be an expert on the subject they are reporting on. It is their job to take the information gathered from the professional and put it into terms that will be both interesting and understandable for the reader.
In addition, we feel our job as collegiate journalists—at a publication run by students for students—is to report on issues that may intrigue, interest and educate students. This is part of our responsibility to our readers.
We also feel that there is some level of responsibility that falls on faculty members, in any department. This responsibility is to share activities performed in the classroom where we students spend a majority of our time. We are interested in and pay for access to your wealth of knowledge.
We understand that you are all conducting research in addition to your work as professors. Please know that students are interested in what you do, and may seek information from you simply out of curiosity. We challenge you to indulge them. We would also like to remind this faculty member that the primary purpose of his employment at this university is to educate curious students.
Our initial intention for writing this article was not to criticize the science department or their research methods, but rather to satisfy the curiosity of students uninvolved in the program. We apologize for any possible misunderstanding on this point.
We appreciate greatly the extra time and effort faculty contributes to the spread of education and information, and we look forward the cooperation we at The Pointer may have with you in the future.
From the Pointer Newsroom