Launch into Leadership

We get paper when you read the paper

“We are the physical manifestation of independence.”

That quote comes from our editor-in-chief, Daniel Varitek, who doesn’t write this editorial or contribute to it at all because he’s not on the editorial board. In fact, because we’re independent, we have the freedom to say whatever we want about whomever we want, barring any defamatory or libelous statements. We can say, “F— Daniel Varitek,” if it’s well deserved, but journalist decorum requires we censor the curse.

Being independent from the university editorially has its perks. If there is ever an incident or issue that the university wants to avoid, like flies in PantherDining’s food, understaffed academic departments or inadequate fact checks before presenting someone with a service award, we’re there to report it, rain or shine. There is virtually nothing the university can do to stifle our voices. We do not suffer prior review from any outside source. We review amongst ourselves, even in this editorial, but we don’t ask for permission from the school before we publish anything.

There is one thing the university does have control over, and that is part of our finances. So that’s where you, the reader, comes in. We don’t necessarily rely on the university fully for funding, but they do provide us with a space to work in and some other financial safety nets.

That’s why we depend on advertisements for the majority of our revenue, and advertisements depend on readers like you. When you pick up the paper, we get some paper too. We pay for our own equipment, liability insurance and legal counsel entirely from the strength of our work.

Financial independence is beautiful, but it only matters if we make quality work.
In the newsroom, decisions are often made in terms of critiquing and providing constructive criticism to one another to constantly expand on the quality of our writing.

Our integrity to each other comes from our loyalty. Our simple friendships among The Signal’s staff inspire us to care for each other, and in turn to care for the publication.

As a completely student-run organization, The Signal has duties and responsibilities of its own. News needs to be relevant and important, and most importantly truthful, no matter the cost. We are responsible to our audience, to report without personal attachment the events and moments that are important to our audience.

Independent reporting requires an objective perspective. Like processing stress, gaining objectivity does not require you to repress your individual perspective, but acknowledge it.
At The Signal, we all come from different backgrounds and walks of life with different intrinsic biases. However, when we cover stories, we push those biases aside and avoid letting them interfere with objective reporting.

When we research a story, we are resilient. Random sources turn us down, PR representatives feed us spin and fluff with the hope that we’ll go away. But guess what? We won’t. Persistence is what drives us forward. It’s what uncovers the truth and holds people accountable.

Whether it’s rushing to protests, identifying trends or interviewing coaches, we are there on the scene, not on our schedule but on the schedule of the people. We sacrifice our sleep schedules and social lives to ensure that you know what’s happening. We wipe the crust out of our hazy morning eyes and resist falling asleep during our hours-long meetings. For example, we are all still in the office finishing this piece at 2 a.m.

And to think that we are just an editorial board of 10 students with internet access, a thirst for information and an undying dedication to the truth.

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