Welcome to our first years and welcome back everyone else! My name is Sam Zern and I’m the Hustler’s 2018-19 Editor in Chief. This publication means so much to me and to our campus, and I’m honored to be part of a 130 year old legacy. As the official student newspaper, our role on campus is to be your go-to for what’s happening and what matters to our community, and to expose you to information you didn’t even know you needed. Our staff is made up of talented, incredible, dynamic individuals, and I am so excited to lead this team.
Over the past year or two, we’ve seen an uptick in attacks on the media and an increasing number of publications folding. As a young journalist, it’s a worrisome time to come up in, and as a citizen who understands the importance of the press, it’s deeply frightening. However, my hope is that the tides are turning. Last week, hundreds of outlets across the country published editorials emphasizing the importance of a free press and the work of journalists, while the Senate passed a resolution affirming that “the press is not the enemy of the people.” These are good first steps and reaffirmations of our values as a people, but I believe there is more work to be done. Our news outlets themselves need to ensure they are not contributing to falsehoods and are actively working to regain the trust of the public.
Our mission as a publication is to cover what matters to this campus and give you all the information that you need to know. However, we recognize that we have room for improvement. We consistently inform with our investigative pieces, entertain with our beautifully photographed concert reviews and keep you up to date on all things athletics. But we could be doing more. There are areas of campus that I know have gone uncovered, perspectives that haven’t been explored, opinions that haven’t been written. This year, The Hustler is working hard to change that and expand our ability to cover every corner of campus.
To do that, we need you. Our job is incomplete if we are not properly representing each part of Vanderbilt and bringing you the news you need. My goal this year is to dive deeper in our investigations, cover a broader range of topics and build a staff and content flow that more accurately mirrors the invaluable diversity of our university. In order to properly represent our school, it is critically important that our newsroom is made up of more of the people who make this university great.
So please, share your views with us. Keep emailing us tips and commenting on our stories and correcting us when we make mistakes. More than that, join our team. We need as many voices in our newsroom as we can get, because quite simply having more folks at the table means we have that many more perspectives in our reporting. It’s my hope that throughout the year, you’ll hold us accountable to our mission of fully covering our university.
All the best,
The Hustler is a student run publication open to all Vanderbilt undergraduates. To join, please visit us at the Student Organization Fair on Friday, Aug. 24, or attend our info session on Aug. 26. Or, email our editors directly here. More information to come.