If you don’t like it, change it

By By Nick Macey

By Nick Macey

The Daily Utah Chronicle is an important part of the U. It provides localized news and information to a dispersed student body. It is extremely sad to listen to the rhetoric of the candidates from all parties running for Associated Students of the University of Utah offices as they describe The Chronicle.

In a debate last week, the idea was discussed that The Chronicle is viewed by students as a “contrarian publication that strives to impose a belligerent view of current affairs while serving few outside of those employed as staff.” This statement is nothing short of shocking and false, and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise.

In the same debate, Student Government by Objectives Party candidate Richard Goldberger said that The Chronicle is a “ho-hum” sort of paper and vowed to make it “The New York Times of student newspapers.” Even outside of the organized debates, I have had more than one candidate mention to me personally-perhaps unaware that I write for this newspaper-that it is “rare to find a good article in The Chronicle.”

Perhaps these ideas would be remotely worth discussion if they were anywhere near true. However, it appears someone must stand up for this newspaper to those who constantly slander its name. To those who view The Chronicle as “belligerent,” I inquire as to a few points.

First, where is this dislike of The Chronicle present in the student body? The Chronicle is obviously well-read throughout campus. This is evident by the amount of diverse discourse present in the opinion page, representing all sides of many issues. In addition, empty newspaper racks tell the tale of papers that have at least been picked up and examined, if not completely read. Finally, where are complaints about The Chronicle? Not evident in the newspaper. Most letters to the editor are printed. Few, if any, of these letters challenge the journalistic integrity of The Chronicle. It is easy to complain when you aren’t willing to put forth the effort to make a difference.

Second, assuming that this dislike is present, no effort has been made by any party to invoke any change in the style of The Chronicle. Those who have a problem with the paper, its opinions or journalists ought to consider stepping up and making a difference. I know that The Chronicle staff is working to get students more involved, yet often come up shortchanged. Write a letter or apply for a writing position. Simply take some sort of action. The lack of effort is similar to those who complain about the elected president when they didn’t bother to vote.

Finally, the best and most unchangeable part of journalistic integrity is independence. The Chronicle would not be serving its community if it pandered to the wants and needs of the organizations on campus, including ASUU. For any ASUU candidate to imply that he or she would turn The Chronicle into anything other than what it already is, is simply wrong.

Allowing any outside source to control The Chronicle would remove any credibility and independence held by the paper. For Goldberger to say that he would turn The Chronicle into “The New York Times of student newspapers” is a serious problem. This would be equivalent to a candidate for the U.S. presidency saying that he or she would turn The Salt Lake Tribune into the best of state-run newspapers.

wIt is completely inappropriate for any person involved or potentially involved in any other student organization to say that he or she will directly affect the journalistic style of The Chronicle as a result of his or her potential position.

The Chronicle is an important, independent part of the U. If students do not like the way that The Chronicle currently operates, that is fine.

However, students who take issue with it should make an effort to change the status quo rather than whine about it.

Students should not try to change The Chronicle through organizations on campus-rather, they should change it through writing letters or becoming part of the staff. In that way, they will help maintain the integrity of the paper.

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