Journalism as a balancing act

Friday, November 14, 2008

By: Hannah Pickett

Last week while working at a small town newspaper, readers were outraged by my editor's choice of a leading headline following the results of the 2008 Presidential election. The title read: "It's an Obama Nation!"

Think about it. An "Obama Nation" sounds and looks a lot like the word, abomination. The play on words infers that Obama is abominable meaning loathing, disgusting, and hatred.

My editor is a very educated individual. He is also very conservative and very much backed the McCain/Palin campaign. Regardless of his personal belief, his job as a journalist was to report the news of the presidential election results-unbiased.

The article went on to point conservative politics' strengths in America and the repercussions the country will and is going to face with Obama in the White House. In a very negative fashion, the editor also knocked on the Democratic presidents in the past, saying that Republicans are the best thing to happen to this country.

This week there were quite a few letters to the editor in reponse to this article as you can imagine. All but one were shredded and "forgotten about." The one letter published just said something about the headline being rude, but the facts backing it up. The rest of the letters were protesting the article in general.

It would have been one thing if this article ran on the opinion page where opinions are welcome and getting on a soapbox is actually invited. But this was the front page, above the fold and therefore completely inappropriate.

In life we have to wear many different hats concerning our roles. In this case, the editor wore the hat of an angry Republican and misplaced the hat of being an impartial journalist. Ethics matter. I am a Republican and was deeply offended at this article.


Our president ...

By: Katie Schaefer

A bunch of leaflets were slipped in to hundreds of copies of The Brown and White student newspaper at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania last week.

Editors don't know how this could have happened because they checked them all before all of the copies went out for the night. They even checked with distributers and they don't know how it could have happened either.

They haven't caught who did this, but it makes me wonder how we can still have such racism in the world.

This is the 21st century and we still have problems with racism. Racism will probably always be an issue but it's something that people should get over because our president is black.

He is the person that we trust to help change the world and people are still saying things about the color of his skin.

How exactly does it make a person feel to have a president that is black? Honestly it doesn't bother me, but it must really bother whoever put this leaflet out because they did it in a paper that would reach a lot of people.

Maybe they were trying to get students to think differently about their president but it's too late now. He's already elected and there's nothing they can change about it.


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