Our view: Source cooperation crucial for success in reporting truth

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It’s difficult for student journalists to learn and thrive in a reluctant environment. 

As the Dixie Sun News staff, we are taught to be accurate and fair with our sources. It’s also our intention as staff writers, multimedia reporters and photographers to act in a professional manner. But we are also students and mistakes happen.

When you hold grudges against us, it prevents us from doing our job. We often don’t hear about mistakes until months, or maybe even years later if we ever find out at all. If we make a mistake, we want to hear about it in order to make it right. 

Just like readers see corrections in newspapers nationwide, we will also run corrections in the newspaper when mistakes are brought to our attention. We also fix mistakes on our website as well. 

We understand frustrations when sources feel like we don’t understand them or misrepresent them. But we are contacting you for a reason; you are the expert on the situation, and we want to get the full story. We aren’t just random students picked to write a story. We receive training on journalistic aspects like how to conduct interviews, report accurately and fairly, and how to leave bias behind. We also go through an editing process where at least two other people look at a reporter’s work before it’s published.   

Our interviews often don’t take very long, and if you think of something you forgot to tell us during an interview, you are always welcome to contact us. Interviews over the phone and through email can work on some occasions, but having adequate amount of time to meet with you face to face allows us to get the full story and ask more in-depth questions.

However, deadlines mean everything to us. In order for our newspaper and website to run successfully and for our grades, it’s important for sources to know the impact of ignoring a phone call can have on our news organization. Our print deadline is on Tuesdays in order for our newspapers to arrive on Wednesdays, so getting information and hearing back from sources before then is vital. Our content is published online first, but that doesn’t mean deadlines go unnoticed. 

There’s a national dialogue against journalists right now, especially with President Donald Trump calling us the “opposition party.” This doesn’t help our impression as journalists who are trying to do our job and learn.

We seek truth, and in order to be successful in representing all sides of a story, we need your help.

Just like the old saying “if you see something, say something,” we expect our readers to do the same. If you feel a correction is needed, email us at [email protected].