At issue: Emerson College Today updates mission
Our take: Announcements and news should be separate
Emerson’s communication and marketing department is revamping Emerson College Today. Now a separate site, Emerson College Today aims to provide information regarding the school for students, faculty, and staff. The site includes news, announcements, statements from President M. Lee Pelton, press releases, and stories from the press highlighting the college and related individuals.
We appreciate Emerson’s effort to streamline communication to reduce the amount of emails we receive and create a central location for information. But publications, like Emerson College Today that is linked to the voice of the administration, should not advertise themselves as a source for campus news and should only post announcements.
Notwithstanding obvious reasons, there is necessity in the fact that the Beacon is editorially independent and student-run. SGA recognizes and funds us, but no one reads the Beacon before print. We serve as the unbiased source of student voice and opinion. It is dangerous for any institution to advertise and promote their own agenda, for fear of it becoming propaganda.
In the past, students who contributed to Emerson College Today received payment. If this continues, contributors could feel pressured to not criticize Emerson. That’s not news—that’s PR. Students and staff could censor criticism to sugarcoat the school and its procedures. It’s a dangerous mindset, and in our culture’s current journalistic hysteria, student reporters need a resource that honors and values their voices.
Instead of luring students with paychecks and bylines, perhaps Emerson should encourage students to work with students on a paper by students.