Column: The News is not a public relation vehicle

Anthony Catezone, Managing Editor

The purpose of The Daily Eastern News is not to promote Eastern; its purpose is to report about university topics and issues while remaining unbiased.

Some people have a difficult time digesting that because the word ‘Eastern’ is in the publication’s name.

Any further relationship with the university essentially ends there.

Recently, criticism has surfaced toward The News, especially its sports section, because it does not promote athletic teams.

But here’s the thing: it is not supposed to.

The News is not a public relations outlet. It is not associated with the university.

The News does not exist to make any part of the university look good — or bad.

If an athlete — or anyone of prominence — is arrested or makes national news for negative reasons, it is The News’ job to cover it, just as it is The News’ job to cover the positives that happen throughout the community.

The News is not giving the university a bad reputation. If anything, the people committing the act are responsible for diminishing the university’s reputation.

The News did not commit the act. It is simply reporting on those who did.

For example, if there is a crime on campus, is The News just supposed to ignore it and not cover it, keeping the community oblivious to the issue?

Covering the crime and bringing it to the forefront would lessen the university’s reputation, yes.

However, The News is not responsible for the crime happening. Therefore, The News is not the one damaging the university’s reputation.

All The News is simply doing is providing those on campus who deserve to know with as many true facts as possible.

Those who work for The News do not want to harm the reputation of anyone on campus. But at the same time, if something is newsworthy, then it must be covered.

Furthermore, we do not work for the university. The staff is employed by student publications as its own account.

Meaning, our job is not to promote the university, its athletics, organizations or anything for that matter.

When positive recognition is earned, it is given. Just look at the football team the last two years. Page one for each Ohio Valley Conference championship, Jimmy Garoppolo as the 2013 Person of the Year?

Such negative criticism there.

Or even if you just look at the last two games for the Eastern football team this season.

Impressive 52-13 and 28-3 wins against Southeast Missouri and Tennessee State, respectively, have led to praise for the Panthers.

The News is reporting on those wins or those back-to-back championships. But don’t expect it to turn the other cheek when negative issues surface.

I believe those who genuinely know people that work for The News or those who genuinely understand the purpose of the media will agree with this idea.

For those who did not realize this before, hopefully this article has shed some light on that idea and gives you a better understanding of the purpose of The Daily Eastern News.

Anthony Catezone is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]