Our right to write

Staff explains motivation for covering difficult topics

illustration+by+Victoria+Van
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Our right to write

illustration by Victoria Van

illustration by Victoria Van

illustration by Victoria Van

illustration by Victoria Van

Story by Tiger Times Staff

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We sit in a circle, squeezing onto couches, disregarding any sense of personal space we might have possessed. There is a chatter among us, the sound of loud laughter and people groaning overdramatically as they are forced to accommodate the arrival of one more body on the couch. As one of the editors in chief speaks out, addressing the room, the noise comes to a lull.

The question is asked.

“Does anyone have any ideas for this issue’s in-depth story?”

Silence. For a moment, we all trade glances, surveying each person in the circle, expectantly waiting for someone to speak. It’s an important question, a necessary one. The question of choosing a prevalent issue in today’s society on which to centralize our paper. We want it to be relevant and timely; something that will spark interest. We want it to be something that you, the student body, actually cares about. And once we feel like we’ve found it, we’re off.

We research relentlessly, conducting polls and interviews with various students and faculty members in an earnest attempt to capture the real perspectives of different types of individuals, those affected either directly or indirectly by the topic in question.

Sleepless nights are spent tirelessly writing and rewriting articles in order to preserve and present the honest opinions of you, the students and faculty of this campus, in an unbiased and unchanged manner.

Then finally, after weeks spent agonizing over computer screens trying to make this idea come to life, we distribute the culmination of our blood, sweat and tears to the entire campus, eager for your reaction and hopeful for your approval.

It’s at this moment, this specific point in time, that something crucial, misses the mark.

A new question. “Why is the newspaper so sad?” And another. “Why do you keep talking about problems if you’re not going to do anything to change them?”

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Recently, the Tiger Times has endured criticism regarding the issues we choose to focus on in our publication. Whether we’re being told that we should lighten up or shut up, we just can’t seem to get it right. We thought it might be time for us to clarify what it is that we aim to accomplish with the newspaper you see passed around every six weeks.

The root of all journalism is to inform. Journalism is the outlet through which news is disseminated, and what it means to do is spread knowledge. That much is the same for us and our paper.

Our purpose is to be a voice for the people. We mean to honestly and objectively inform, and most of all, we mean to be a reflection of this student body.

In response to the question on why we fixate on controversial or hard-hitting subjects, we ask this: Why not?

We aren’t given the option to be decent human beings only at times most convenient for us. We here at Tiger Times just want to know what good has ever come from staying silent. What good has it ever done? The answer is, none. None at all.”

We can’t ignore real problems happening in our world when we are the ones affected by them. And even when we aren’t the ones directly involved, it is unacceptable to ignore the hardships of others. We aren’t given the option to be decent human beings only at times most convenient for us. We here at Tiger Times just want to know what good has ever come from staying silent. What good has it ever done? The answer is, none. None at all.

This has been said many times before, and it may still garner the same scoffs and eyerolls, but know it to be true regardless: We are the future. As young people, we have the power to make change, to make a society worth living in. But we wonder, how can we expect to change anything before we start educating ourselves on the issues plaguing the world we live in? How can we incite progress before we start communicating with one another?

This is what the Tiger Times is trying to do. By presenting these hard to hear topics, we aim to challenge the mind of every student. By making an exhibition of issues that some students might not even be aware of, we hope that traditional schools of thought may be tested, and people will be forced to form their own opinions when we don’t offer them one on a silver platter.

We want to make it clear that our goal isn’t to be a depressing dark hole of despair and misery, despite often being interpreted as such. In all honesty, we want to address the matters in society that so many people would rather keep quiet, and by doing so, we hope that you will be inspired to take a stance, whatever it may be, and then take action.

This staff cares, and that is why we write. Granted, it is a small step, and it won’t be enough to change the world, which is why we’re asking you to meet us halfway. Continue the discussion, ask the hard questions and don’t stop there.  

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