Letter from the Editor: Telling stories since 1894

Letter from the Editor: Telling stories since 1894

Peyton Shepard

It’s been a rough couple of months in the world of journalism. 

Throughout the tumultuous political hell-fest that has been this election year, a lot has been said of the omnipotent presence of the collective entity that people vaguely refer to as “the media.” They’ve been accused of slanting stories to fit a predetermined agenda, intentionally under- or over-covering news, creating controversy for the sake of readership, and a litany of other sins. And while the validity of those accusations has been hotly debated, it has brought up one indisputable point – “the media” have a lot of problems to address.

It’s not something we’re blind to. Journalists and editors across the country are constantly struggling to keep up with an ever-changing field that seems bent on leaving us behind – by the time we’ve adjusted to our new reality, it morphs yet again and the panic ensues anew. But the one consistent reality is that media are a consumer-driven commodity, and they succeed only when their audiences decide they do. 

Even though The Crimson White is a student media organization, we are by no means sheltered from the professional repercussions that continue to rock our field. Our success is solely determined by our ability to evolve to our campus, the make-up of which changes with each incoming freshman class. 

For 123 years now, the CW has faithfully served our UA community. Despite the mounting challenges that face us, we have no intention of stopping any time soon. We know just how important journalism can be, and that’s something we believe in enough to work for.

In my time with this organization, I have seen the impact that a well-written story can have on this campus. I’ve seen the Greek system officially integrated because of stories like “The Final Barrier.” I’ve witnessed and reported on the bravery of individuals willing to stand up to the injustice of secrecy in “Rage Against the Machine.” I’ve read about the experiences of those who have survived sexual assault through “Behind Closed Doors,” and who overcome their battles with mental health through “The Scars Remind Me.” I’ve been proud to edit countless articles striving to shine a light on all walks of life at this university, and know the editors and writers who have always tried to give a voice to those we may not hear as often. 

While the world of journalism may be changing, those stories, the ones that make an impact on the world around us, never change. 

For years, our motto has been simple: “Serving The University of Alabama since 1894.” That phrase has been and always will be at the heart of everything the Crimson White staff does. And the best way we can serve you is by continuing to tell your stories. 

I can’t promise that you’ll always like the story that’s being told. I can’t promise that you’ll always feel compelled to pick up our paper, log onto our site, retweet our posts on Twitter. But I, along with the rest of the 2016-17 staff, can promise you that we will tell those stories regardless in our constant pursuit to serve The University of Alabama as we have since 1894.

The only thing we ask is that you listen.

Peyton Shepard is a senior majoring in journalism. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Crimson White.