The Cleveland Stater is published online and in print by students enrolled in the School of Communication at Cleveland State University.
The Innerlink: A CLASS Publication
Journalists’ mission: To present the facts, tell the truth
BY EMILY OUZTS
Last month, the publisher of the Plain Dealer wrote an open letter to readers about the hardships in the newspaper industry.
“You’ve probably heard ‘Newspapers are dying’ and that ‘No one reads newspapers anymore,’” Terry Egger wrote on the Sunday front page. “There is no doubt that our business is facing a significant challenge…but the next time you hear someone say that the Plain Dealer is irrelevant in the Internet age, please join me in informing them of the facts.”
In journalism school, we learn the importance of facts. Our professors teach that we can prove anything if our facts line up. And in Egger’s case, they did. Citing a 1.3 million readership in the Greater Cleveland area and the highest daily circulation percentage of the 20 largest newspapers in the country, he proved the Plain Dealer is stronger, more solvent, and more relevant than we had all thought.
But Egger did more than recite facts – he stood up for his profession. For those studying journalism, it served as a reminder to keep going. For those who are not, it was a reminder to have a little respect for what we do.
Because we understand. We get it. We know very well that the careers we’re preparing for may not be around in a decade.
But just as we’re in the business of facts, we’re in the business of perseverance.
We are blinded by our doggedness, our palpable determination to get the story. We’ll carry that determination with us wherever this industry ends up.
And each time someone tells us that we’re entering a dead market, each time someone laughs at our ambitions, we take that as motivation to continue on our mission: to present the facts, and to tell the truth.
So you don’t read the news-paper? There are 1.3 million people in Cleveland who still do. And that’s the truth.
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