Thursday, February 16, 2012

The ‘Headline-gate’ scandal

A word from the Editor-in-Chief

By Heather Perry, Editor-in-Chief

It’s been 75 days, 14 hours and 50 minutes since what I’ve dubbed Headline-gate began. If you don’t know what I mean by that, ask your neighbor. They’ll probably know what I’m talking about.

I’m purposefully going to break journalistic protocol and not give any context because I really don’t want to bring up what happened in December.

My procrastination in writing this column evidences my apprehension. I’m writing this late on production night.

Simply put, I don’t want to talk about one of the worst, if not the worst time of my life, and I’m not exaggerating. I think people forgot we’re human beings who make mistakes.

So now I’ll tell you what I do want to talk about – what we learned and how we’re moving forward.

We realized in December how wide our audience is for The Mooring Mast and how much people care about what we publish.

Quite frankly, a couple years ago that wasn’t the case. Not only has readership increased – we’re ordering more copies of the paper every week – but we’re also receiving more feedback.

We learned the hard way about journalistic etiquette when it comes to profane, vulgar and obscene words.

We learned the importance of production night deadlines and how what’s acceptable in the dead hours of the morning isn’t nearly as acceptable when the newspaper comes out the next day.

We learned the importance of having a knowledgeable adviser to guide us in the learning process.

I personally learned that even when I don’t have facts to back up my opinion, it is still a legitimate opinion and I can veto my entire staff because of it. And I can proudly say I did so tonight.

We even took a crash course in public relations.

Most importantly, we’re moving forward and expecting more from ourselves than we ever have before. That’s why I am again going to make the same plea I did last year.

If you notice errors in The Mooring Mast, see your name or another’s misspelled, or have any feedback for us, we welcome it. Without that feedback, we can’t learn from our mistakes.

I can’t guarantee we won’t make more mistakes, because we will. However, what’s most important is what we do when we make mistakes. We’ll own up to them and learn from them.

We’re student journalists, with the emphasis on the student aspect. We’re at Pacific Lutheran University to learn.

Editor’s note: Readers can find articles and columns about ‘Headline-gate’ in the News and Opinion sections of this website.