Letter From the Editor

A journalist’s first responsibility is to tell the truth.

            My many notebooks are crowded with hasty scribbles, abridged versions of actual sights and sounds that I experienced. The things my sources say and do, the clothes they wear, their body language, it’s all there. Just let me check my notes.

            Now, whether the Horizon will use any of that material is dependent on its relevance to the story, length considerations, and whether it can be presented with a fair and objective nature. But the point is that these decisions are made by the reporter and the editor, not the sources themselves.

            There have been several instances in which a faculty member or student requests to provide feedback for an article in which they are featured before it is printed.

            We don’t do that, and here’s why.

            Nobody does it. News organizations are careful to ensure that no outside source is able to influence a story prior to its publication. We strive for absolute integrity.

The final edit of every story is my personal responsibility, and I take it seriously.

Despite some concerns to the contrary, the Horizon has no agenda in regards to how our sources, (usually private individuals and not public figures), are portrayed.

            The Horizon is a professional newsgathering organization. It is something of a staging area for talented writers and photographers who intend to continue their education and jumpstart their careers in reporting for the media. To maintain our expected level of professionalism, we cannot begin to allow sources to dictate, even without intent, the content of this newspaper.

            We print 100 percent original reporting. We don’t publish carbon copies of material from the Associated Press or any other news organization. We stick to stories that are primarily relevant to Whatcom Community College. We are proud to serve our readers with original news and feature reporting, with illuminating profiles and exclusive interviews.

            But we’ll do it our way, always.

            Humans are human, and mistakes get made in the face of looming deadlines. If a factual oversight has slipped our proof-reading nets, please let us know, so that we can run a correction.

            A journalist’s first responsibility is to tell the truth.

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