The Barometer needs unfiltered information to report the truth

Barometer staff together holding up their Back to School print edition.
Barometer staff together holding up their Back to School print edition.
Jason May

As reporters, we write quotes as naturally as they fall out of a person’s mouth. Sure, we take out the “um’s,” the “you know?’s” and the “like’s” but it’s what is at the heart of their words is most important.

They are speaking their truth.

What’s important to The Daily Barometer is not just that our readers, the Corvallis and OSU community, are feeling represented through the stories we write, but that they are hearing from sources who are just like them. The raw opinions and natural flow of voices, especially from students, bring the story to life.

Unfortunately, multiple university organizations have inhibited the Barometer from speaking with certain sources by referring us to designated marketing officials, silencing opinions on some of the university’s most important issues.

Since these organizations have to go through marketing, their representatives might choose to change interview responses however they see fit before they are sent to our reporters. We are not given the unfiltered truth of a stance in terms of opinions, such as thoughts on a new policy from a student employee within an organization.

This usually results in vague, cookie-cutter answers that could usually be found online through a little bit of research.

Furthermore, when Barometer writers have to go through a marketing representative rather than the people relevant to the story, responses often take time, which means important stories are forced to wait.

Each month, The Barometer issues our print edition which addresses meticulously chosen topics that represent all facets of the Corvallis and OSU community, including housing, mental health and healthcare. Speaking to the proper sources for information is not only important for us as journalists, but for our readers who may find the information interesting or necessary.

Our website receives hundreds of page views each day, with some of our stories reaching thousands – and tens of thousands – of views in its lifetime. As a news source, we strive to be as concise, accurate and unbiased as possible.

Our readers hold us to that same standard as well.

This standard can best be achieved if we are allowed to speak to the members who belong to the community we serve, whether they be a professional or lay person. Now, we are often referred to speak to marketing representatives who have an agenda to make what they represent look as good as possible.

Consider an article you have read recently. Who did the journalist talk to? Was it a trusted source, like an expert, say? Or someone else, whose job was to give the reporter just enough information to put a pen to paper?

Journalism is more than just relaying the facts, and more than regurgitating pieces of information. Our work is about allowing our readers to understand or get to know events, people, situations and places by putting them in the shoes of the sources we interview.

It is about giving student readers the experience of imagining what it would be like to live as a student employee within an organization, the why’s behind certain precarious situations on campus and the flaws within our systems.

Without being able to talk to the real people who make OSU what it is, we not only receive filtered information, but we lose the voices of student workers, volunteers and campus employees.

In other words, we lose the voices like yours.

What The Barometer needs are unfiltered quotes from organizations and institutions. Our readers deserve the truth without going through marketing.

From now on, when a story contains quotes filtered through marketing, it will be noted at the bottom of the story as we believe it doesn’t fulfill our journalistic integrity without it.

Was this article helpful?
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Daily Barometer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *