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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Student journalism is a privilege and a service

The Editorial Board reflects on the important role of being UC Davis’ official, student-run newspaper

With Picnic Day upon us and a notably larger community on campus this week, the Editorial Board thought now would be a perfect time to re-introduce ourselves — and highlight our work here at The Aggie. 

Everyone on the Editorial Board feels that working for The Aggie is an immense privilege that we do not take lightly. We feel honored to share stories within the UC Davis community and bring to light issues we observe. 

Being a student journalist is also a service. As students, we are often able to offer an inside perspective different from non-student-run Davis news outlets and university media. We write as the members of the community who are affected by the university’s policies and practices, and we understand the importance of holding UC Davis and its administration accountable when these policies are not just.

Student journalism is something that any student can participate in and we encourage anyone who’s interested to give it a try. Part of the beauty of many student-run publications is that you don’t have to have reporting experience or a lengthy list of pre-requisites to get started. Anyone can be a journalist, as long as you are curious and paying attention. 

Not everyone who works for The Aggie, including some on managing staff, wants to be a journalist after college either. There’s so much to be gained from working at a newspaper other than pre-professional experience; working with others, communicating effectively and looking critically at and learning about local communities are necessary skills for life. 

Acknowledging where we fall short and where we can grow is also critical. A lot of trust is placed in us to report for and about our community — by both the people who read The Aggie and those who offer their stories to our writers. We work hard to continue to earn that trust, but also acknowledge that we aren’t even close to perfect. Being journalists means constantly assessing our own biases and calling attention to how they might be present in our reporting. 

It is also clear that as much as we work to address our personal biases, a key to a strong newsroom is a staff with diverse perspectives. This is why we began releasing annual Diversity Reports in 2020 and have been working to more accurately reflect the student body within our staff. 

The Aggie is also a platform for guest opinion columns, which offers people the opportunity to share their perspective. Anyone in the Davis community can submit an opinion piece. As long as it is factual, respectful and relevant, a submission will be taken into consideration by the editorial team.

The Editorial Board wants to share how honored and grateful we are to have this platform on UC Davis’ campus and how excited we are to continue our service as UC Davis’ official, student-run newspaper. Have a fun— and safe — Picnic Day. Support your local journalists, and go Ags!

 

Written by: The Editorial Board