Silence Broken, Lessons Spoken
The Nursing Journal (NJ), the only official student publication of the UST College of Nursing, has recently been involved in an issue during the university’s election season. Not quite surprisingly, this season’s atmosphere had become a miniature replica of what most of us would call “dirty politics”—the extent of NJ’s involvement had become more than what we have expected. Yes, we did not expect to become part of this hullabaloo, yet we soon found ourselves in it.
On one hand, while various rumors have circulated and have been circulating in our campus, the truth behind the incident has yet to be revealed, and the hearsays seem to be perpetuated with much partiality brought by blurry spectacles and feared predicaments. On the other hand, this was an expected phenomenon, and the NJ sees it as an opportune time for unbiased illumination.
Moreover, the Nursing Journal has always been a harbinger of veracity. It is for this reason that the circumstances had obliged us to enlighten the student body regarding journalism ethics, coupled with simple values and principles of common decency—all in a deontological sense.
The Conflict and the Motions
An unconsented affiliation between two distinct organizations was announced in public in a college event, which was set to aid the Thomasian student-nurses to practice their rights to vote.
The Nursing Journal just happened to be the other organization.
There were expressed perceptions towards the publication. One of the most striking would be something that was said to this effect: NJ’s functionality and coverage is insufficient and the staff seemed to be too busy to fulfill the task. a
As a response, NJ exerted effort to give the concerned people the opportunity to explain their side during the event. They then responded instantaneously, speaking of their thoughts and striving to elucidate further what they have previously said. However, we had come to the conclusion that our efforts were futile, as these people seem to miss the point.
As much as it would like to submit its rebuttal within that very hour, the NJ had resolved not to prolong the interrogation. We did not wish to monopolize such an event with our cause since the event was for the students to have an in-depth enquiry of their potential leaders—not for us to gauge on their knowledge of the publication’s contents, and even its mere existence. Thus, it was decided upon among ourselves to discuss the issue later, in a setting that would be more conducive for a peaceful dialogue between the two parties.
However, as a sequel, the NJ was soon depicted as being affiliated with the candidates, even prior to their assumption of their respective positions. This depiction was apparently magnified through various verbalizations and accusations aimed at the Nursing Journal’s integrity as a student publication.
As an aftermath to the damage that has been done, the Nursing Journal was faced with an imperative to enlighten the student body that it should be given due respect and be seen independent of any political or electoral proceedings, as it has never collaborated with anyone in an untimely and unlawful sense.
In this context, we, at the Nursing Journal, simply wanted to reiterate the inherent nature of the publication itself and the persons keeping its mission on survival:
We, the Nursing Journal are, have always been, and will always be impartial and neutral.
Although, we, the Nursing Journal, have been coordinating with the student council and various organizations all throughout the decades of our existence as a publication, we have always vigilantly removed ourselves from any undertaking that is of political interest. Moreover, we only coordinate or collaborate projects with any organization during the academic year when its rightful leaders have already assumed their respective positions. We have always done this to maintain our integrity and impartiality as of a campus journal, which is believably something that the general public has been made well-aware of, and which most of the involved persons have chosen to disregard.
As student journalists, we maintain our integrity by producing evidence-based articles, presenting all sides of the story without bias—a fundamental quality that has been embedded onto us, even when we were still starters. Logically speaking, the absence of bias automatically affirms the prevalence of neutrality in a situation—in this case, our predicament. Thus, we decided to declare our neutrality to remind everyone of that inherent quality.
We, the Nursing Journal, have every right to protect our publication and declare our stand. We believe that, in the course of our “campaign for respecting the neutral grounds”, no name or any other concrete marker of identity was even mentioned. In cases where individuals were inferred to be the trigger of the issue, the existence of these so-called accusations is of the speculators’ own doing, not ours.
We do consider that the difficulties of being in the limelight and being placed under public scrutiny entail an immense pressure that can render a person’s mind to formulate a varied response or refute. However, we believe that individuals vying for such stature should be well-knowledgeable of what they dare to speak and have enough humility to admit ignorance if it was the case. It’s a simple upholding of the values that we, Thomasians, should have already inculcated within ourselves—we should always speak and act with discernment, all for the pursuit of truth.
Criticisms are welcomed here in our publication. Ideally, these criticisms shall hold proof to the assumption that our readers have been reading the contents of each issue that we release. This gives us the drive and keeps our passion alive. It makes us desire to continue disseminating information, entertaining stressed-out students and providing an artistic outlet for everyone to enjoy.
Yet, in order for one’s criticisms to reach a wholly receptive audience like ours, he or she should not only familiarize himself or herself with each sentence that is written on paper—he or she should also immerse himself or herself in the writing that it contains per se. Therefore, if a person has not been through the pages of our issues, we then fail to see his or her capacity to pass judgment even for a sentence.
Some may say that ignorance is bliss.
But the when ignorance is coupled with disparagement, it’s just plain impulsivity.
This same impulsivity was manifested with claims that NJ is destroying fellow students and worse, even the college, with our campaign for neutrality and advocating our rights. If what they claim was true, then the people involved wouldn’t be where they stand as of the moment.
Perhaps, these people must ponder on alternative reasons and realizing that using our publication as a scapegoat isn’t a rewarding means to salvation.
As an attempt to settle these issues, the NJ staff had arranged a session with the persons involved to explain their sides and to apologize as they would see fit. Forgiveness was granted to those who admitted their shortcomings; respect was given to those who had sought ways to make amends and to improve the well-established professional relationship.
For those who refused to see a faux pas after another and accuse us of misinterpretation, it’s an opinion in which we would have to agree to disagree.
To conclude our first/only/final statement regarding this matter, we present to you some journalism facts: (1) the reason behind the independence of a campus journal is to isolate itself from impartiality. This would make it an official student publication that releases news articles in a newsletter—which, in our case, takes the name of newsette, a name that has existed for decades already; (2) newsletters with news articles are only well-produced by journalists under a valid editorial board independent of other affiliations that are to be written for – which credits it as an official student publication of the college.
Anyone or organization can make their own publication, given that they follow the law, but they will never be inherently valid, neutral and unbiased as compared to the only official student publication of the UST College of Nursing, the Nursing Journal.