Thursday, February 16, 2012

From the Editor: Lesson learned

By Justin Buchanan, Sports Editor

As many of you may know already, I wrote the infamous ‘F--- S--- Up drops the ball’ headline.

There were no dashes, and for that I’m still sorry.

I’ve taken the headline as a learning experience and will apply all the lessons I learned to this upcoming semester, and the rest of my life.

First and foremost, I have learned a lot about the culture of the Pacific Lutheran campus.

I was under the impression that swearing was not a serious issue on campus. That obviously was not the case.

Despite hearing students, faculty and staff swear in and out of class, I’ve learned that there is a large difference between saying it and putting it in print.

I’ve even taken it upon myself to cut back on my swearing and clean up my vernacular.

I’ve also learned a lot of what the campus expects of me as a journalist and the standard to which our readers hold us.

While it might be okay to swear in class or with my friends, I should never do it as an aspiring professional journalist. I’m held to a higher standard.

In addition to these changes in my outlook on journalism, I have begun development on a Mooring Mast Style Guide to help future editors in avoiding my errors.

The style guide will be modeled after the AP Stylebook, but focus on terms that pertain to PLU. Things such as: J-term, Xavier, Tingelstad and so on.

And of course, there will be a whole section on profanities, obscenities and vulgarities and trust me, it won’t be recommended for future editors.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: If I ever run into a situation where I have to swear again, it will be self-censored. I promise.

From that experience, I learned much about being a journalist and much about myself as a person. I certainly got my money’s worth of education in the past 75 days since I placed that headline on page 16 of our Dec. 2 issue.

I hope you stick with The Mooring Mast this spring semester and see what I have learned.