To the Editors-in-Chief of the Argosy,
In the first issue this year, released in September 2016, the Argosy put out a statement to their readers saying that there was a growing disconnect between the administration and members of the faculty and student body. They cited this as the reason for needing a “new type of journalism.” It was announced that the Argosy would not strive for objectivity, but rather for fairness under conditions that are often unfair. Throughout the year, the Argosy has blurred the line between opinions and news and the result has demonstrated why this approach to journalism becomes self-serving to the interests of its staff rather than providing the community with information.
The paper has assigned members of Divest MTA to report on its own events, close friends to report on one another and even reporters to write about their own activities. All of these pieces appear in the news section and often with little to no acknowledgement of a bias. Meanwhile, as any outside writers know, editors take great lengths to ensure the disclosure of contributors’ potential biases.
Although it is hard to find a Mount Allison student removed from newsworthy events, objective reporting still has a place in student journalism and is worth striving toward. It is a practice of seeking to understand a story, not to find evidence that conveniently supports a writer’s pre-existing conceptions.
The Argosy is a student-funded initiative to which every student contributes financially, not just the members of certain organizations and the friends of the Argosy staff. This should be reflected in the reporting. Non-objective journalism creates an environment where the news is skewed and students’ criticisms of this practice are unwelcome, perpetuating the stereotype that the Argosy serves as a platform for only certain subgroups of the student population to be heard.
I sincerely hope that the editors-in-chief foster a more inclusive approach in their journalistic practice next year and remember that this student-funded operation is meant to serve the entire Mt. A community, even those outside the elite Argosy social circle.
Disclaimer: I worked as the politics reporter in my second year, contributed in third and fourth year and have been an avid reader since first year.