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News Engagement Day is celebrated on Oct.1. You can participate in the conversation about the importance of news by looking up the hashtag #NewsEngagementDay.

The Iowa State Daily will join student newspapers across the nation Wednesday in advocating for the right to a free press and the ability to continue servicing the public with information vital to a successful democracy.

The Student Press Law Center, a strong advocate for the First Amendment that specializes in protecting the rights of student journalists, is calling for grassroots support Wednesday — Student Press Freedom Day.

The goal is to recognize the tireless and important work of student journalists in their communities and to highlight the necessity of a free and independent press.

Here’s why this day is critical.

Today, there are just 16 daily student newspapers in the United States. While many newsrooms are switching from a print-based to digital-only medium to better match the wants and needs of consumers, revenues cannot keep up.

This mirrors a loss in professional newsrooms, too. From 2008 to 2017, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

What this translates to is not just a loss in staffing and equipment, but the sheer inability to do anymore than match the 24/7 news cycle. Student journalists are capable of writing in-depth, long-form investigations. Student journalists are capable of creating documentaries. Student journalists are capable, a long as they are invested in.

Last week, the media industry lost 1,000 journalists to layoffs specifically in digital-based publications such as the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed news. Journalism students today, no matter their experience, will have to fight for jobs in a shrinking market and the classroom is not enough to prepare them.

What the Iowa State Daily does is help fill this gap and connect student journalists to an experiential learning environment. The Iowa State Daily not only provides the basis for how to report and write a story but exist in a professional workspace.

Last semester, the Iowa State Daily reported stories specific to our community that would have otherwise gone unnoticed if left to the city or regional media outlets.

Take for example the recently implemented trademark policy that has riled many student organizations for what they felt was a lack of communication and thought into the impact it would have.

Over the course of the fall semester, the Iowa State Daily published 22 articles related to the issue. Other news organizations published only one.

The students at the Iowa State Daily serve as watchdogs of the community. Just as it benefits our staff to gain the experience, it benefits Iowa State to see an issue from all sides and have an unbiased, objective news source to get information from.

On Student Press Freedom Day, the Iowa State Daily asks that you take the time to get to know your student newspaper. Visit our website, like us on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to the Daily Dose, our email newsletter.

We also hope that you enjoy testimonials from our staff — both current and past — about what this organization means to them.

The Iowa State Daily has served the Iowa State community for 128 years and we hope to serve you for 128 more.

Opinion Policies

Editorials are longer opinion pieces that are written by a group of community members recruited across campus who address relevant issues on a local, national and international level. Editorials are research-based. The purpose of the Editorial Board is to promote discussion concerning relevant issues in the community while advising on possible solutions. Topics are chosen via relevancy and interests of the members, which are then discussed by the Editorial Board in order to reach a general consensus concerning the topic or issue.

Feedback policy

If you have a grievance concerning the content or argument of the Editorial Board, please contact either Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel (peyton.hamel@iowastatedaily.com) or the Editorial Board as a whole (editorialboard@iowastatedaily.com). Those wanting to respond to editorials can also submit a letter to the editor through the Iowa State Daily website or by emailing the letter to Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel (peyton.hamel@iowastatedaily.com) or Editor-in-Chief Sage Smith (sage.smith@iowastatedaily.com).

Column Policy

Columns are hyper-specific to opinion and are written by only columnists employed by the Iowa State Daily. Columnists are unique because they have a specific writing day and only publish on those writing days. Each column undergoes a thorough editing process ensuring the integrity of the writer, and their claim is maintained while remaining research-based and respectful. Columns may be submitted from community members. These are labelled as “Guest Columns.” These contain similar research-based content and need to be at least 400 words in length. The following requirements should be met: first and last name, email and relation or position to Iowa State. Emails must be tied to the submitted guest column or it will not be accepted or published. Pseudonyms are prohibited and the writer will be banned from submissions.

Read our full Opinion Policies here. Updated on 10/7/2020

(2) comments

Lee Van Brocklin

No support here for a free press. I believe some necessary common sense restrictions are needed to keep our republic free, and infringe on the out-of-control biased information (propaganda) the press wields today. A citizen cannot tell the difference between opinion and news, by design, and therein lies the threat.

Steve Gregg

“Journalists” in America, particularly at the Daily, produce a shoddy product that deserves no celebration. If anything, “journalists” deserve condemnation for adulterating their “news” with their leftist political bias. The liberal news media produces some of the worst products sold on the free market. In the case of the Daily, it’s worse than that. Students are forced to buy their product, which is why the loony lefty editors of the Daily can spout nonsense far left of the mainstream of the student body.

The press is not independent. They are not brave journalists who think for themselves. They are liberal activists with bylines dedicated to promoting the talking points of the Demcratic Party.

The ISU trademark issue illustrates the fact that most journalists are pathetically ignorant of the topics they write about. ISU owns its trademark, not the students who want to use it for free. ISU naturally does not want student numbskulls using its trademark to promote things ISU opposes, like marijuana. That degrades the image of ISU even more than the Daily’s lefty journalism.

Journalism deserves no more respect than used car dealers. The Daily, particularly, deserves no respect until it stops hiring all lefty editors and writers and balances its staff between left and right. Even one conservative writer or editor would be a giant step towards a fair and balanced newspaper. So far, that is a step too far for the intolerant lefty editors of the Daily who are intolerant of dissent.

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