As we begin the Spring 2020 semester, The Phoenix editorial board wants to reflect on our purpose and responsibilities as a publication and formally revise our mission statement. Since 1881, The Phoenix has undertaken the task of devoting itself to the best interests of the college and student community, and to endeavor towards independence and truth. While that remains true, both The Phoenix and the community it serves have significantly changed since. This makes it important for us to explicate our intentions and policies.
In the previous semester, we wrote an editorial about our intention to be more inclusive and representative within our staff and editorial board. We at The Phoenix recognize that our success as a publication is dependent on all members of our community, not just one specific demographic. Fair journalism, to us, is comprised of the experiences and viewpoints of as many groups of people as possible. We believe that truth-seeking, likewise, is inextricably linked with diversity. It is therefore crucial that the people who make up The Phoenix holistically represent the diversity and perspectives of the student body in order to best report on the issues on this campus.
As an independent publication, we report on the college, not for the college. We pursue journalism freely without restrictions or review from the administration or any individual or organization. While our publication is ultimately funded by the Office of Student Engagement, because our funding process is mediated through the Student Budget Committee, our decision-making is in no way shaped by these entities or the college in general.
At The Phoenix, we aim to:
- Report on the truth as accurately and expansively as possible
- Provide news and perspectives that pertain to and reflect the diverse communities within the larger Swarthmore community
- Follow professional journalistic standards, which includes structural commitment to be as objective as possible in our editing process.
- Consistently seek to represent a diverse spectrum of perspectives within our own staff
- Hold the college and our community accountable while simultaneously being held accountable by our readers
Striving towards truth and fair journalism is not a single, discrete action, but a continuous process to which we must commit. As we commit ourselves to these goals, we welcome any feedback on how we can best do so. Our anonymous feedback form can be found here, and any questions can also be directed to email@example.com. In the coming weeks the Phoenix will be publishing more information about our journalistic practices on our website.