Editorial: Campus lags in transparency

North Wind Staff

While the recent Starbucks issue has been disconcerting for some and has strained relations between The North Wind and the school administration, hopefully the experience will lead to greater transparency in the future.

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Comic Credit: Dorsey Sprouls

As a public institution, it is important for the university to keep an open relationship with its students and faculty members.The media was created as the fourth estate, as a watchdog to other large institutions, over public affairs and government. The journalism code of ethics stands firm in the aim to “give a voice to the voiceless.”

This by no means gives the newspaper industry the opportunity to misinterpret information, and the history of the newspaper industry is not perfect, but when journalists are diligent and accurate in their work, media is an advocate for the people.Under government law, public institutions are required to provide the public with access to public records and meetings.

This creates transparency and builds a stronger trust between an institution and its publics.

The law gives the media the opportunity to keep certain establishments in check, and make sure they are not doing anything unlawful.

It is a journalist’s responsibility. The society of professional journalists abides by a code of ethics, meant as a guide for all media in the effort to report the truth.

The lack of transparency witnessed with the Starbucks contract appears to be a symptom of a much larger issue; the university is no longer making decisions in the best interest of the student body and the faculty.

A newspaper has the ability to influence public opinion, but more importantly the power of influence is a responsibility to publish real, accurate news that informs the public. We have a duty to serve the public in this way.

If the administration refuses to be interviewed or refuses to comply by Michigan laws, they are losing a chance to represent themselves and the university in an instance where their expertise and input can be highly valuable.

As a student newspaper, we value the input and insight of our administration. We value honest answers and compliant actions. We value truth and ethical standards.

This is precisely why we aim to follow the ethical standards of the Society of Professional Journalists ourselves. We will give a voice to the voiceless.