Calling for less biased representation of student opinion in the Argosy

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.

Sincerely,

Willa McCaffrey-Noviss

3 Responses

  1. As a conservative-leaning student here at Mt. A I completely agree with the sentiments put forward by this letter. In the past year I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable in Sackville, in part because of the obvious liberal-progressive slant of the argosy and, in particular, the vehemence which is routinely displayed toward other political beliefs in the opinions section. I’m just another student here at Mt. A. I don’t want to feel like I will be publicly ridiculed and hated for my beliefs. The Argosy should be ashamed at the divisiveness they have instilled within the student body with these self-serving, politically motivated journalistic practices.

  2. The censorship your newspaper is practicing is appaulling both for the students who attend this university and the people who live in this region… Believe me, your behaviour has created unintended consequences to people and their lives and I would caution you to allow more free speech and perhaps find the courage to start a Free Speech Club where no one is called bigot, racist, or white supremicist when they discuss what concerns them in Canada in 2017. Your future and your children’s future should matter to you enough to respect and uphold the country called Canada’s freedoms and rights for INDIVIDUALS .. if not .. you have already submitted to ‘sharia type law’ / obediance to the ‘community’ instead of respect for your fellow Canadians.. we have diversity because multiculturalism has been a project Justin Trudeau’s dad started in the 70s with vigour; we do not have DIVERSITY OF IDEAS if people cannot express freely how they think and feel… do we?

  3. A lot of people enjoy being freethinkers .. those people usually are not found in the hallowed halls of universities… make your own .. shine your own light.. your life is your life.

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