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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Critic Voices His Concerns

    Recently the University has added the School of Journalism to its long list of concentrations for students to choose from. I can’t think of a better time for this to be offered.

    With the growing number of affairs involving our school, state, country and world, it’s good to see one of the news outlets we rely on for information is tackling pressing front page issues such as the current problems with (‘Facebook Forcefeeding,’ Hsieh, Lynn. Stony Brook Statesman. Sept 21, 2006). Even as a current member, I find this story not just unworthy of the front page, but also of our school paper in general.

    Another option on campus is to read a periodical that considers the following quote ‘reporting’: ‘Holmes was most clearly forced out of his student government position, most likely for his political activism’ (‘Accusations Prevent Student Gov Officials from Taking Office at SUNY New Paltz.’ The Stony Brook Press. Sept. 15, 2006).

    I find myself torn. Do I read a paper that has a history of under-reporting serious issues and placing too much importance on frivolous topics or do I immerse myself in a periodical that voices its opinion disguised as news more often than reporting it directly?

    The Society of Professional Journalists have many standards within their code of ethics including, ‘…distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context…’ (

    Whether we like it or not, the media has a profound effect on what issues we are exposed to and how we react to these topics. By exposing a group of people, such as the 22,000 students at Stony Brook, to particular stories and opinions disguised as news, the media is imposing its own views and placing importance on issues they deem to be most serious.

    It’s about time we asked our student run and funded publications to denounce mediocrity and be more responsible in their reporting to create a more diverse and informed student body here at Stony Brook University.

    I have high hopes that the new School of Journalism can help accomplish this goal.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Brian Scios


    Hi Brian,

    I do appreciate your comments.

    Perhaps if you had read some of our other issues, you would have seen our coverage of the Hospital Investigations, new Jouralism School, Proposed Smoking Ban, 9-11 Memorial Ceremony, just to name a few, maybe you would have found some actual news.

    It’s kind of like watching a television series. You like some episodes, you don’t like others. I agree, however, that having a journalism school here will help us out.

    Keep on commenting, we’re always listening.



    I had read your other articles. I read our school papers very often, almost religiously.

    In the case of your publication, too much space is devoted to ads and meaningless topics, such as the one I had mentioned. Our school publications do little for our students and come off almost as a ‘hobby’ for the staff/writers of them, not as an actual media outlet. It’s scary.

    As far as topics that have some meaning and substance, there is a case of under-reporting on the part of your writers/contributors. It’s almost like a bad television show….you like a few of the jokes, but not the whole thing.

    In the case of the Statesman, the majority of stories/articles I read involve a few poorly researched facts mixed in with what a lot of people like to call ‘filler.’ Just words and sentences that really take the story nowhere and leave the reader in the same position he/she was before they read it…clueless.

    I enjoy some of the articles I read and I know what it takes to run and write for a school paper (I had done so at my previous college and also in high school). I just feel that there can be much improvement for a school of our stature. It’s almost as if I’m reading a high school paper when I read the Statesman. I do not claim to be a good writer, but I do no what good research and writing entails.

    Best of luck to you and your staff this year. I look forward to seeing the improvements I had mentioned.

    Brian Scios

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