Opinion

Student newspaper provides candid comment on university

You know what really grinds my gears? When people don’t appreciate the value of a fair and independent student newspaper.

A good student newspaper is the student body’s best chance to keep a check on the institution we (our parents) pay so much to attend. So while I don’t expect students to read The Miami Hurricane cover-to-cover twice a week or open 10 tabs every morning to read online, I think it’s worth appreciating for the service it provides: an independent view of what is happening in and around the school.

As a private institution, UM gets to control a lot of its image, and as any private institution should, it paints that image in its best interest. That’s why outside media need permission, credentials and accompaniment by UM staff to come on campus. But the Hurricane doesn’t need that (usually), and that’s why it’s the student body’s best chance to keep itself informed of what’s going on in the school.

When cultural student organizations lose their office space, or the graduate student association wants housing, or a construction project is delayed, TMH is usually the only place for the student body to hear about it in an independent, fair way.

A college campus is its own little state, complete with branches of government, a faculty senate, bureaucracy, labor disputes, private employers, police, private interests in the form of donors and more. The student newspaper is here to independently tell its audience what is going on and why, just as news should do in a progressive state.

The Hurricane is not, nor will it ever be, perfect. Nothing we produce in college is close to perfect. The Hurricane is constantly a work in progress, turning over its staff with each graduating class and adapting itself to new technologies and new audiences. But the student newspaper is not here just to provide working experience for the students who run it. I’d like to think that, ideally, it is here for the same reason any media exists: to tell stories in a manner that informs and entertains its audience.

William Riggin is graduating with a degree in journalism and political science. 

April 20, 2016

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William Riggin


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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.