Portland Beacon Student Newspaper to Unhelpful Administrators: ‘Now, That’s Just Rude’

The Beacon staff are hitting some brick walls— and they’re reaching out publicly for help.  In an editorial prominently featured in its first issue of the semester, the University of Portland student newspaper is taking a few UP officials to task for their lack of availability and the pre-reqs they throw out to Beaconites seeking interviews.

As the editorial– overtly headlined “An Appeal to the Administration“– shares, “Beacon reporters call administrators to include their voices in stories that directly involve them. Yet some administrators and staff members consistently make it difficult for us to do our jobs.  Some say they are simply too busy to meet with a reporter for a 15-minute conversation.”

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Along with the “sorry, I’m busy” excuse, the paper cites other administrative roadblocks including individuals who require an advance list of questions, opt for email-only interviews or hold back due to fears of being misquoted.  One last legitimate concern: “Some potential interviewees simply do not even respond to interview requests, or, even worse, do not show up to scheduled interviews.  Now, that’s just rude.”

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The bottom line: “[L]eaders in the UP community, administrators, and staff members have an obligation to the students, staff and faculty to be honest about issues going at the university that directly affect our lives.  By refusing to speak about these issues with the Beacon, they are shirking this obligation.”

I’ve emailed Beacon editor-in-chief Liz Tertadian for more context on what spurred the editorial and accompanying “less than ideal” cartoon.  I’ll post an update if and when she responds.

Update, from Tertadian: “[T]here was no one big incident that caused this.  Rather, it has been a chronic problem our staff has to deal with every year.  Especially this year, when some interviews were actually for light profile pieces.  To be given the runaround is frustrating, and so we decided it was time to push back.  I think a key thing is that we wanted to give a shout-out to those who do engage with us on a regular basis.  Most people on campus, especially professors, are really great with interviews.  It’s only a select few in the administration that make it much more difficult than it really has to be.  We just want to engage in open, face-to-face discussions with everyone on campus.”

Related

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At University of Portland, ‘Campus Ministry Forces Student Media Out’

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