Editorial: ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓*

North Wind Staff

Although this whole FOIA controversy started with the Starbucks contracts, it has developed into something much more important: a battle for First Amendment rights. Students have been intimidated for the stories they have pursued and told consequences would be harsh. This is a violation of the United States’ founding law. The gravity of this situation cannot be underestimated.

Our job as journalists is to report on stories that are relevant to the student body, not what the administration thinks we should write. We work diligently to make sure our sources are credible and our facts are accurate. The majority of our stories reflect NMU in a positive light—on the whole, we advertise for the university’s events and pursuits. The moment a story surfaces that the administration feels negatively toward, or the moment we use very basic journalistic tools like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we are criticized.

We welcome criticism and view it as essential to our station as a wing of democracy. If that criticism is valid, we will take the necessary steps and work to improve our operation. However, if criticism suggests we ought to stick to lighter stories, we would counter by saying that our content is actually meant to inform first and entertain later. The majority of our content reflects the university positively but, as a news organization, we are obligated to cover the good, the bad and the ugly.

If NMU wants its only journalistic arm to double back upon itself, breaking at the hinge, and become a secondary public relations division, that is defeating the purpose of journalism as the Fourth Estate and as the watchdog between the governing and the governed.

We are not in this to please; we are in it to perform the vital function of informing and edifying the community in which we reside.

We would be remiss if our functions stopped at the doorstep of the bigger stories and projects to put out softball articles, and although this newspaper may have taken that track in the past, this particular staff is in no mood to kowtow.

We have something to stand up for and we have something to report. And it will be reported with honesty and integrity so long as we’re here.

*This headline was redacted.