After working at The Alestle for a semester, I have realized that, even though my job is important and an integral role in the community of this campus, the things student journalists are often overlooked.
Monday mornings start by checking my email for story assignments, some of which I love, others I hate. When I first started at The Alestle, I was writing about two stories a week, but recently I have been assigned around four stories a week. This may not seem like much, but when most stories require at least three interviews to be scheduled, that adds to about twelve people I have to schedule time to speak with on top of my schoolwork.
Right after I get my stories, I email my sources asking if they’d like to be interviewed and, if so, when they’d like to meet. Sometimes, people respond kindly with meeting times and we are able to get the story done within a few days.
Other times, people ignore me, or simply decline interviews for reasons beyond my control.
The people I contact to interview are always my first choice and usually the best person to talk to about the subject.
When interviews are declined, it is not only hard because I have a deadline to meet, but it also is hard to get the most accurate information for the story.
Nothing is wrong with declining interviews because everyone has a choice to talk or not. However, I think that, being on a college campus, it is important to keep the community at SIUE aware and informed of what is happening, whether that be lighthearted news or something deeper. We are not looking to dig up dirt, expose some conspiracy or pry at secrets. We are just informing our community.
People do not realize how important it is to have a newspaper. I know not every student and staff member reads The Alestle, but being able to have a source of information that is not just fluff is special to have on a college campus.
At The Alestle, we are simply doing our jobs. Sometimes that means covering a baseball game and other times that means reporting on a scandal on campus. Either way, we are just trying to give the public their basic right to knowing what is going on.
Reporting is so important and helping the public become informed is one of the most important parts of this job. Because of this, it is frightening that, simply by reporting on information that should be given to the public, journalists have to fear for their lives.
Reporters and newspapers are created for the public. There is no secret meaning behind certain stories. We are just trying to spread the knowledge that not everyone may know.
Whether you read The Alestle regularly or not, it is important for everyone on campus to respect the reporters.
People need to realize that we are just simply doing our jobs, so please, whether you are a student, professor or staff member, remember that we just want to keep the public informed. So, please, give us some more respect.