Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Let’s understand each other better

The following reflects the majority opinion of the Editorial Board.

Look, we know that sometimes we come across as a little harsh in our editorials. But we believe there’s a misconception on the way we go about things. 

First, we’d like to define exactly what editorial means. An editorial is an opinion piece that begins with a discussion by The Miami Student editors. The topic varies week to week and is often based on a big news story. 

In our discussion, we aim for a clear stance, plenty of explanation and some action steps that can be gathered together and presented in a coherent and compelling article. Our goal is to spark change — or at least give people something to think about.

We’d like to reiterate that our editorials are completely separate from news stories.

This is why each of our editorials begin with the words, “The following reflects the majority opinion of the Editorial Board.” On the opinion page, we share our opinions, which we work diligently to support with evidence. 

Much of that factual evidence can be found in the relevant news article, and to best obtain that evidence, we need to speak with individuals who are educated on the topic at hand. 

People not wanting to talk to us because they’re afraid of what we might print isn’t what we want at all. We want solid relationships with decision makers so that we can report full and honest stories — something we strive for every day. 

We don’t operate on gotcha journalism principles. Sure, we report on injustice and wrongdoing when we see it, but we’re not putting out media stunts to get readership.

We have our editorial discussion after the news story about the subject is written. Oftentimes, the writer who wrote the news piece isn’t even a contributor to the editorial. 

We know how to separate fact from feeling.

That being said, we can’t always get the full story from every side if people won’t talk to us. We’re aware some members of the administration aren't always keen on being interviewed for stories.And some prefer interviews done via email, but it’s much harder to detect tone, ask for clarification on nuance and establish rapport over email than in person or over the phone. 

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Lack of proper communication between us and those who make decisions at this school will only hurt the community.

It’s our job to give our community the information it needs to stay informed. We are a necessary part of an important system that keeps the administration, students and other organizations on campus in check. Yes, we’ve called out the administration for a variety of things in the past, but we’ve also written multiple editorials calling our own student body to action. We are simply doing our job. 

Because we can only do so much with the information we have, we need everyone in our community to be on board. The more people who can give us background information or be interviewed for a piece, the better it will be for everyone. 

So, next time you don’t like something that we print, feel free to email the editor of that section and set up a line of communication with them. We accept letters to the editor, too.

It’s easy to think we’re not mature enough to understand real issues at this university. But we experience these issues for ourselves every day on campus, and we remain well-informed. We are all taught to understand our own biases, and we’re capable of executing hard, honest news.  

Oxford is a news desert, and we report on local news and events around town, in addition to our Miami coverage, because there’s nobody else to take on that responsibility. 

We do our best to be fair and honest journalists, but we are not a PR newsletter for this school. We love Miami, which is why we try to give student input and suggest solutions for potential mistakes as decisions are being made. We want to see change in areas that need it because we want to see our community thrive. 

At the end of the day, we’re just a group of students bouncing ideas off each other. But we care about what we do, and we want good relationships with students and administration so we can continue to do what we love and what is important.

Maybe there is bad blood from the past in some cases — we’re not sure. The truth is, administrators stick around for a long time, while our staff changes every year as students graduate and new ones take over. We start every year and every story with an honest effort to understand, and we will always appreciate an honest effort in return.

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