Opinion, Staff Editorial

An open letter to Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ student journalists

This weekend was the start of your spring break – and you spent it marching.

Last month, when tragedy befell you, it might have forced you to change your plans. But it didn’t force you to lead the charge in such a loud, courageous, impossible-to-ignore way. That was all you.

But you didn’t need to be told that. We just wanted to say you’re making us proud – as journalists, as students, as people – and your commitment to telling your story has not gone unnoticed.

You student journalists – whether you’re on the staff of The Aerie or The Eagle Eye, or picked up the habit in the last month and a half – are in the difficult position of wearing two hats, those of subject and reporter. And you’re wearing them well, though we’re sure at times it is painful, infuriating and confusing.

The future of journalism doesn’t lie solely in a few famous papers, full-time newsrooms and big names telling people what they need to know. It’s a more immersive world of on-the-fly reporting and, often, telling your own stories as they happen – not waiting for a bigger outlet to catch wind and report. You’re embracing that future by getting information out via Twitter, Snapchat and long-form Facebook posts that tell us more about this tragedy than any evening broadcast ever could.

More than that, though, you’re teaching us how to do our job in the midst of tragedy. It’s a lot to ask of any journalist to remain composed when reporting on a story like this – much less a student who lived through it. But there you are, embodying the importance of journalism as you show your community ways it can help and tell the stories that matter.

This role of a journalist is especially important in dark times, when people are searching for answers, information – anything they can cling to and understand. Instead of adding to that darkness with the sort of voyeuristic, culprit-focused coverage so many news organizations are prone to do, you continue to uplift your community with stories of courage, healing and hope.

In the last six weeks, The Eagle Eye has written about means of remembrance, activism and selflessness – and you were living those ideals, too.

Your journalism embodies what we hope becomes common practice in the field: that of emphasizing the human side of your school, the names you remember and the people who won’t stop fighting for a better tomorrow.

We hope you don’t underestimate the impact of the work you’re doing, at every level of the storytelling process.

To trolls and haters, you’ve responded with a loud, resounding “no” – no to the gun lobby, to those who say you’re too young to get it, to the possibility of this ever happening again. From one team of journalists to another, we’re grateful to you for helming this revolution.

We sincerely welcome you into our newsroom, any day, and we are here to support you in whatever way you need most. You can find us @MiamiHurricane or at editor@themiamihurricane.com.

To donate to the cause, visit https://www.gofundme.com/stoneman-douglas-yearbooks.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

March 26, 2018

Reporters

Editorial Board


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Their bats and gloves and baseball skills weren't enough Thursday night. Now, the Miami Hurrica ...

Florida State's recruiting trail hit Georgia last week, and while the #Tribe19 class is a focal ...

It's almost summer, time for college football players to wind down and chill out — every now an ...

More than a decade after former University of Miami football star Sean Taylor was murdered during a ...

Alumna and faculty member shares lessons and learning about racial identity in free parent community ...

Voters head to the polls in a historic election to choose the country’s next president. ...

From boathouse to marine research powerhouse, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Scienc ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

Stormy weather in the Gulf of Mexico may have delayed Friday's competition, but wind and rain c ...

Last season, Miami Hurricanes fans created, quite simply, one of the best home-field advantages in c ...

University of Miami senior Christian Langmo and freshman Adria Soriano were edged by Florida's ...

After rallying to force a split, Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miamis women's tennis team was u ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team will wrap up the memorable 2018 season as No. 42 in t ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.