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Letter From The Editors: ‘Brave Journalism and Bold Advocacy’

Guardian Editors Meeting | Photo by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian

Editor-in-Chief Jamie Naylor and Managing Editor Alexis Lewis co-wrote this article.

Despite the perceived glamor, managing a digital newspaper and media group is not easy, especially when you always have to be mindful about the content you publish and how you and your publication will be perceived in the public eye. From Tinker v. DesMoines to Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, students and student journalists have been fighting for their voices to be heard on school grounds. Luckily, college newspapers have the rights of any other major or small publication in the U.S., but that does not mean university publications do not face challenges, especially when many university administrations hold publication pocketbooks, while other universities hold student credit hours. 

As students, the weight of school, work and personal struggles on top of journalism is a heavy load to carry. It is important for our organization to be an open, creative and truthful place where we can talk about topics that are important to us, fellow students and the WSU community. We heavily encourage our members to lean into the educational aspect of the process, which often includes messing up, revising and moving forward accordingly. In this manner, it is more crucial than ever for us to step into our positions as students and writers with courage, bravery and willingness to adapt, learn and serve the community in its ever-changing evolution. Talking about difficult topics, such as student mental health, gun violence and post-pandemic struggles, is at the core of our organization. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the tenants of professional journalism to magnify the experiences and struggles of our community. 

The theme for this year’s Student Press Freedom Day is “brave journalism and bold advocacy.” Many think that publications have to produce a large, controversial story to fit this theme, but we do not think that is quite true. Partaking in a student publication, publishing regular content and advocating for your place as a student journalist and student publication in the media world is brave journalism and bold advocacy by itself. It is something we practice every day. So this Student Press Freedom Day, support your local student-run publications. Interact with their content and members, encourage them and ask them how they need support. Together we will keep our public forums free and continue to raise our communities’ voices.

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