As a journalist representing the Horizon, and therefore representing the college, the biggest part of my job is to stay objective. In other words, my opinions have to stay out of my writing and my interviews.
It gets difficult, because I have a lot of opinions. When there are demonstrations on campus that display huge signs against abortion, I want to speak up. When the LaRouche men came with the Obama/Hitler mustache poster on October 28, I was angry…but all I could do was shake my head as I walked past them. That was until about 1:30, when myself and a classmate decided to take our notepads down and talk to them. Not to do a story, but just to see why they were there and what they had to say.
The first thing they said to us was “Hey, did you see our poster?” Now, what I responded probably could have gone unsaid, but I feel that doing something like that to the president of the United States – whether you love him or hate him – is unacceptable. Besides, I find it ironic that one of the men looked like a carbon copy of a younger version of him! After I said what I said and they realized that we were with the paper, they wouldn’t talk to us. “We don’t give interviews,” one of the men said. He also said that because I “insulted” his friend they weren’t going to talk… had we been “normal” people (not student journalists), they would have answered our questions. Since we weren’t, however, all they did was hand us a magazine with a number on the back. “Call this number if you want an interview,” he said. They were downright rude.
Unfortunately, no matter how offensive or rude some demonstrators are, the college cannot disallow them to come to campus. There is a form they have to fill out and they can only be on certain areas, but as long as they are keeping their hands to themselves and not following students with propaganda, they can be there. No matter what kind of demonstrations come, whether it be anti-abortion posters, or if the LaRouche men come back, I have to keep my cool and refrain from saying what is really on my mind, even if they return with the same poster or something more offensive.
The official student newspaper of Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington