Our View: Campus reporting covers all aspects of student life


Last week The Simpsonian ran a police blotter detailing student arrests that occurred the previous weekend. This was met with much disdain and we would like to explain why this is our editorial policy.

The Simpsonian is not a “practice” newspaper. We run it as a real newspaper and have policies as a real newspaper. We hold ourselves to a high journalistic standard, and that begins with pulling from public records. That is a common journalistic practice across the board and allows us to report facts. The reason we put together a newspaper each week is to deliver accurate and newsworthy articles so you, as students and members of this community, can be informed of current events.

We do not write articles to increase our readership. We do not write articles to embarrass or shame students. We write articles because the information within them is deemed newsworthy, factual and important for students to know.

We did not pick and choose which students to name in the police blotter. We obtained the public records, reviewed which were Simpson students and wrote them in a blotter without any biased information. We simply reported the facts.

We did not print other names of Indianola residents who were arrested, because this information is not newsworthy to our audience. We are a student newspaper, and write for that specific audience.

Running a police blotter was not our form of embarrassment or shaming students. If it had been one of our staff members, we would have printed their name, too. It’s happened in the past.

We’ve been told the police blotter makes Simpson look bad and puts our students in a bad light. It’s not the newspaper’s job to paint Simpson as a perfect campus, nor is it our responsibility to make students look perfect. We report what happens, whether the news is good or bad. A newspaper is not a source of public relations.

Public records are just that – public. We’re doing our jobs as journalists by pulling from public records. It’s a journalistic duty. We understand it’s not the happiest form of news, but that doesn’t mean we stop publishing it. We’re not pointing figures at anyone or saying these people are bad. We’re simply working to get you factual information.

We do ask if you have any concerns or areas for us to look into, we’d be glad to investigate further. News sources dispel rumors, gossip and ultimately should provide facts. That’s what The Simpsonian strives to do.