Art by Sybil Zhang
There has been much discussion lately about what news is and what journalists do. We want to be transparent about who we are as a student media organization and what we do. Pepperdine Graphic Media’s mission is to “serve the community with news, opinion, contemporary information and a public forum for discussion … [through] the pursuit of truth, excellence and freedom in a context of public service.”
The Graphic is the oldest student organization at Pepperdine; we have been publishing since George Pepperdine College first opened its doors in 1937. Back then, we were just a newspaper. Today, we are an award-winning student media group, with numerous publications and original content going up daily. Our publications include the Graphic newspaper (both online and in print), Currents Magazine, GNews, a semesterly special edition (most recently the Informer), the Housing Guide and the Senior Edition. Entering our 80th year, journalism is still at the core of what we do. Our highest priority is to report stories fairly and accurately, and to share that information with the community in an appropriate and timely manner.
That said, PGM is a learning lab for students who are developing their journalistic abilities. Like professional news organizations, we occasionally make mistakes and issue corrections as soon as possible. We have a rigorous editing process that cycles each story through three to six editors before publication. If you ever notice a mistake or want to give your opinion on a story, send a Letter to the Editor at email@example.com or contact one of our senior leaders.
Some private universities require the campus newspaper goes through the administration before publication. However, our stories are never cut or censored by Pepperdine administration. We are not told what to write or to spin our stories to favor Pepperdine University. We are blessed to have the freedom and responsibility to share what really happens, while openly communicating with administration. That also means that when someone requests we retract (remove) a story we know to be accurate, we are able to give the hard answer of “no.”
Our newsroom isn’t solely composed of Journalism majors, but rather is full of students from all majors, who plan to pursue diverse paths after graduating. The newsroom teaches us how to develop real-life skills: interviewing, accurately gathering and reproducing information, teamwork, and deadlines. The work done in the newsroom affects everyone involved in the process of a story, both inside and outside of our staff. Thus, the skills we garner have real-life consequences as well, adding weight to the pens — or cameras — that we carry.
As much as we love printing a physical newspaper every week for both its tradition and physical accessibility, our website, pepperdine-graphic.com, and our social media accounts offer immediacy to our readership and are great tools to stay plugged in to what’s happening in the community, especially regarding breaking news. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @PeppGraphic, on Snapchat @pepp-graphic, and GNews episodes are posted to the PeppGraphic YouTube channel. You can also follow Currents Magazine on Twitter and Facebook @PeppCurrents, and on Instagram @currentsmagazine. Articles are published daily on our website, and in addition to traditional stories, our social media accounts are often the best place to find information for breaking news and other campus events.
Additionally, we are excited to introduce the PGM Pixel, a weekly email subscription newsletter sent to your inbox Monday mornings. Launching Jan. 23, it will include highlights from the previous week’s stories, previews of upcoming articles and events, and local ads and coupons. From now until Jan. 29, everyone who signs up for the Pixel will be entered in a drawing to win one of eight prizes. There are $10 gift cards to Chipotle, Ralphs and Starbucks, and a Graphic beach towel and sunglasses plus a SunLife gift card. To sign up, visit http://bit.ly/2iCYzK0.
Whether you are holding a copy of the Graphic or are reading this Staff Ed online, we recommend you take a look at other stories while you’re here. Let us know what you think by sending in a Letter to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you attend Pepperdine, consider getting involved. The stories we publish help record and shape the university and the community, and contribute to a legacy that outlasts any of our own journeys as student journalists.
Follow the Pepperdine Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic