NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Editorial: The NECC Observer is free-press and student run

One figure, hand on chin, asks another figure, holding a notebook and with an angry look on their face, "I want you to cover my event. But I want all your coverage to be completely favorable, and I want you to let me read the coverage in advance, so I can make sure everything you’re saying is acceptable. And I don’t want you to use the words “complex,” “fissure” or “egg.” and I want you to call me a genius, but, like, in a way that you really mean it, okay? And I want you to insert this pre-written paragraph right here. And I absolutely don’t w ant to pay for ad space. ..." The text continues to outside the speech bubble.

Newspapers have more than one function. They serve to inform, create engagement, provide a voice for a community, sometimes entertain, and function as watchdogs against corruptions and abuses in a community. Free publicity is not among these functions.

Journalists report on the good and the bad to accurately communicate the state of affairs. As a basic mechanism of the value of news, readers need to be able to trust that the things the paper tells them are true, and that reporters aren’t deliberately leaving out information that they could reasonably predict a reader would want to know about the topic.

The NECC Observer is a free-press, student run newspaper, funded by the college to provide real world experience for students. 

Only students write the paper. The faculty and administration do not have say or influence in what the students write. This includes the faculty adviser for the NECC Observer, who has only limited editorial discretion to avert obvious and potentially catastrophic errors. Apart from that, she is here to provide guidance and supervise production.

News has been in a bad state for the past 13 years or so, so we can understand where students, faculty, staff and administration might have come to misunderstand or incorrectly infer our functions and goals.

We realize that this is no longer common, but as students, in our education and preparing for the best possible version of our future, we at the NECC Observer are committed to ethical, transparent reporting.

Free press means that stories are written for the sake of news and information value. The NECC Observer does not write for the school, and it does not write for its advertisers. We write for the community and for the students and employees who are a part of it.

For folks at NECC who would like the Observer to cover their business or event in exactly the way you would like, with maximum oversight and verification, we sell ads in several sizes. Details at observer@necc.mass.edu.

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