The First Amendment allows not only journalists but anyone to record and write about anything that is said in a public setting. This means that if you hold a forum or meeting that is open to the public, then photos can be taken, recordings can be made and articles can be written about that event. These public forums can provide good information, but The ‘Burnian workers seek out more in-depth interviews to write strong and objective articles; however, issues arise when we have a hard time getting Blackburn leadership to agree to interview requests.
The lack of communication between Blackburn leaders and The ‘Burnian is problematic because, as a campus, we need to be informed about the daily decisions being made by the institutional staff. Staff members in leadership positions have a certain responsibility to respond to The ‘Burnian because the newspaper is the only objective source of news about the Work Office that our campus community can rely on. And when Blackburn leadership won’t communicate with our reporters, the ultimate victim is you, the reader.
Blackburn is a small school run by a variety of people. Everyone at Blackburn, including leadership staff, is still learning. Not everyone is an expert in every position. Just like at larger schools, sometimes decisions are made that negatively affect some people. But everyone makes mistakes and The ‘Burnian has certainly made its fair share. However, we assess and amend these mistakes when they are brought to our attention and defend our writers when necessary. Although the entire campus community makes up our readership, we aren’t beholden to the school’s management or administration and are fundamentally committed to informing the students. We do this because we are committed to delivering accurate, interesting and timely news to the Blackburn campus in an ethical and professional manner.
Our mandate is to hold the college and its managerial constituents accountable for their actions, and we are not able to do that if they will not speak to us. This is where we need the help of our readers. You should demand honesty, transparency and respect from your representatives on the Work Committee. If managers don’t want to talk to The ‘Burnian, we can’t force them to. But if they give us no information, then we can’t keep them accountable for their decisions that affect you and your peers.