Cutting up the grapevine

By Gus Bode

It’s time to put some rumors to bed.

Misconception No. 1: “The Daily Egyptian is using student fee money/my tax dollars, so it should print whatever I want.”

This is completely untrue. The DE does not receive a dime from the university or the government. We are funded solely by advertising revenue.

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Certainly, if this were not the case, we would have cleaner carpets and faster computers.

Misconception No. 2: “The Daily Egyptian is ignoring this event/group/person.”

This is also, in all likelihood, not true.

Like any news organization, we do our best to report the truth, the news, the facts of many matters that are important to the campus, community and region.

Also like almost any news organization these days, we are sometimes understaffed and always underfunded. Sometimes we are unable to report on everything we’d like, and sometimes, there simply isn’t space in the paper.

Sometimes, we simply miss things. It happens. We’re human. It’s not malicious or a slight against anyone – we promise.

Misconception No. 3: “The Daily Egyptian is such a Negative Nancy – they only want to write disparaging stories about SIUC.”

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False! DE employees would not allow the news content of this paper to become fodder for their personal grudges – against the university, the Chicago Cubs or ex-boyfriends. Our journalism training, our faculty advisers and our loyalty to the paper’s integrity all demand a higher standard of objectivity.

But it should be noted that we are not without a personal stake in much of the news we report.

We are all Salukis too. We chose this institution, we have decided to remain here and we are working toward degrees from the very authority we are sometimes accused of looking to disparage.

As SIUC students who are soon to be SIUC graduates, we have nothing to gain from bashing the university.

But as journalists, if we see something questionable, we question it.

That’s all.

Misconception No. 4: “The Daily Egyptian is just a student newspaper.”

This is half true.

The DE is a student newspaper. We are working on a learning curve. Student journalists work here for a few years at most, hit their peaks, graduate and move on to sunnier pastures and bigger papers.

But the DE is definitely not “just” a student newspaper, at least not to almost everyone who works here. Don’t believe me?

Ask the delivery people for any local restaurant what they see when they bring food to our newsroom (which happens multiple times a night). There are people laughing, fighting, debating, helping each other, doing homework, playing music, watching TV, talking about politics and sports and pop culture, and occasionally sleeping on top of some filing cabinets.

None of us are here because of the paycheck, which hardly covers the cost of all the food we have delivered.

All of us are here because we love what we do, which is bringing the news to you.

If you remember one line from this column, please let it be that.

Petty is a senior studying journalism.

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