The role of the journalistic media is to illuminate. To bring light to situations of constantly shifting circumstances and provide leveled clarity on defining moments in the swiftest manner. Journalism is a bridge between people. At least, that’s what it should be. In the light of the recent events with Matteo Ricci College Coalition movement, it has been disappointing as a student, as an aspiring writer, to see the lackluster response put forward by local media coverage.
It isn’t about raising one voice above another, and it most certainly should never be about promoting your personal opinions through lack of coverage. We, as journalists, should seek to present the issues at hand with a constant focus on people and stories. Articles issued at the time of the first days of the sit-in by big name publications like the Seattle Times and the Stranger were not only limited in their coverage, but also hastily done, and amateurish. Students and faculty were treated as a few quotes, and real issues were simplified in a way that is unacceptable for these major institutions. No time was spent to accurately understand the deep stories on all sides of this issue, and no effort was made to connect with these people as people, something that is key to truly understanding.
In their reporting, these publications twisted an already complicated situation. They placed the movement under an umbrella of either privileged college students or a heartless administration. In doing so they sucked the humanity out of both sides.
To build bridges is to build community; to spend time among the people, to pick up each story and place it in context, in the clearest manner possible, and lay it out plain. You must put out an effort to connect, otherwise you’re replacing mortar with water, and setting the foundations for further misunderstandings.
—Jason Bono, News & Managing Editor