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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

Newsletter

A Pressing Matter: Real Journalism

I’ll be honest, when I first found myself on Stony Brook soil as an exhilarated young freshman I thought the Press was a lovely publication, really I did. At least until I read it. I believe it may have been all the bright pretty colors that blinded me for a while. It  did not take me long to learn the truth though.

The Press is like the peacock of campus journalism, unabashedly kitschy and obtrusively loud. Once you pick away all the colorful feathers and indiscriminately used slang you are left with a skeleton made of rehashed stories and pretentious opinions. Needless to say I was not overly impressed. Issue after issue, the Press has failed to alter my opinion of them.

I can understand the desire to be funny. A writer succeeds when he or she makes the reader laugh while still delivering a meaningful message. Maybe my sense of humor is not refined enough, but most of the intended humor in the Press gets a classic “meh” reaction from me.

For example, the “Suffolk’s Wanted” bit on the front page of a recent issue deserved a roll of the eyes at most. Articles like “Picks of the Fortnight” strive so very hard to seem witty and in tune with pop culture, but the they are so annoyingly abrasive it’s like listening to a whiny five year old that has a potty mouth.

Oh and then there is that bone I have to pick about the Press issue published the week of April Fools day. I applaud the Press, not many would bother to waste ink and an entire back page (after already wasting the front page) on some petty juvenile joke.

Oh, but the Press is quite the exception and decided to plaster a picture of a screaming Macaulay Culkin, gratuitous Home Alone references and a complete lack of professionalism onto its back page. As a joke of course, so if I complain I’ll seem like a bad sport. I don’t really have any desire to complain though since I find the Press’s need to publish a page dedicated to calling the Statesman names rather amusing.

It is reminiscent of one student  picking on another in an attempt to allay his own insecurities and trying to establish a sense of identity. What other reason would you need to harass somebody without good reason?

It is evident that the Press is chest-puffingly proud of its so called “uniqueness.” Uniqueness being all those things I mentioned earlier about using lots of colors and curses. It is not like expletives offend my ladylike sensibilities or anything. I happen to be a huge fan of Chuck Palahniuk, and an advocate of freedom of expression even if it is strongly worded. However, explicit terms for various parts of the anatomy, and the ever-popular F-bomb should be used tastefully and in moderation.

Otherwise it makes you sound like a little child trying to be cool by eagerly throwing the swear words into a normal conversation. If one goes to any decent news source like CNN or BBC it can be noted that they do not feel compelled to garnish their news with profanities. They rely purely on the quality of their writing rather than trying to downplay their professionalism to be able to attract an audience.

It’s like the Press thinks the average college student is unable to read an article unless they make it “edgy,” and by that I mean pointlessly profane.

I consider myself, and most of my peers intelligent enough to be able to comprehend news articles without the authors trying so very hard to keep our attentions.

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