A trustworthy newspaper today is like a voice crying out in the wilderness.
In the wake of the 2016 election, many have spoken but few have been heard. For in the endless swirl of information, opinion, and conflicting facts, it is easy just to tune all of it out. “If there are so many versions of the truth, is anything even true at all?,” we might ask ourselves. The answer is yes. You just have to know where to look. Now, more than ever, the onus is on the reader to be as careful and discriminating as possible. And at a small college newspaper like The Tripod, commitment to truth and balanced opinion is not just an abstract idea. It’s something we talk about every day.
We, as editors and writers, photographers and business staff, are unpaid. This means there is no immediate and tangible incentive to even do this. All of us could pack our things, keep reading our textbooks, and our means of living would be the exact same. We wouldn’t “lose” anything. Money, at least.
What is it, then, that has made us return year after year to publish a 12-page mess of paper every week since 1904? It’s because it’s right to inform. And it’s right to inform because information breeds progress. And progress is right because, well, everyone wants to be free. Trustworthy informational sources are in the business of making better citizens. That means exposing prejudice, soliciting opposing opinions to create meaningful discussion, and taking an editorial stand against injustice and hatred.
It’s correct that by giving this all up we wouldn’t lose any money. But you would lose us. Now I don’t think The Trinity Tripod is your main source of what’s-what in the world every day. It’s impossible, since we publish weekly. But we are headquartered in a dorm basement right here on campus. The New York Times is 100 miles away. CNN is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Even the Hartford Courant, the oldest newspaper in the country, doesn’t keep a beat on Trinity’s Greek Life, or Chartwells’ latest bad decision. We are the closest team of committed reporters and editors you will get. We write about the issues that affect you every day here. You can even knock on our door, on Monday nights, in the basement of Jackson, with a news tip or a strong opinion you want published.
In our story this week regarding the controversial and racist social media posts during the summer, we have tried our best to outline exactly what happened, and to dispel any false rumors.
We did it because you were talking about it. So keep talking, because we will listen.
(Dare to Write!)