Last week, the University News and its staff were accused by a handful of students of using the publication to attack the student curator Amy Johnson. However, that was not the case. The author of the opinion article “Biting the hand that feeds,” describing facts regarding Johnson’s actions, was simply doing a service to the university and its students by unveiling the truth, which is the code of journalism.
The mission of the University News “is to provide its readership – students, staff, faculty, and administration, and the surrounding community – with up-to-date and accurate news about all facets of the university. The mission of each student-journalist is to seek the truth and publish it.”
As a reaction to the column, issues of U-News were stolen or displaced from newsstands at numerous sites on campus.
Though identity of the individuals or groups responsible for the theft is still unknown, a report has been filed with the UMKC Police Department and the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management is aware of the situation.
U-News is produced weekly by students with 4,000 copies printed by The Kansas City Star. Each copy of the paper is free.
However, it is a felony offense to remove or dispose multiple copies from sites on campus without authorization.
Reaction and theft aside, Johnson expressing her opinion on Facebook against the UMKC Women’s Center and U-News was out of line given the duties charged to her upon shaking hands with Gov. Jay Nixon. Many claimed U-News’ motive in printing the article on Johnson was also out of line. However, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees a free and independent press.
Regardless of a positive or negative response to coverage in our publication, we strive to keep U-News a trustworthy college/community newspaper. We work each week as reporters, photojournalists, editors, managers and leaders, but ultimately, as journalists to produce a paper for UMKC students to be proud of while keeping true to the U-News as “UMKC’s Independent Student Newspaper.” As a student newspaper, our staff is given the opportunity to learn and gain field experience in journalism. The main priority of U-News is journalism education. Producing a quality, unbiased and secular publication is a close second, and in most cases, highly compatible.
The U-News mission also states “[The paper] will be carried out in an unbiased and professional manner, as this newspaper is also an opportunity for studentjournalists to learn professional standards and produce professional quality work.”