Aside from the good news about graduation on the quad and the victories of men’s indoor track, most of the content in this edition is feature stories about the interesting things Hood students are doing – which I think is a great improvement to the news section, and I hope our readers enjoy it!
We also (obviously) have color on the first and last pages as well as on the center spread in this edition, which we could do by saving money from buying lower numbers of each edition.
Since there isn’t a major news item for me to consider, I want to discuss two topics that are completely unrelated to one another.
1. I was recently informed by the Marketing and Communications department that The Blue and Grey has been using photos taken by that department without any permission. These photos were mostly athletic photos, both of sports matches and also of the athletic center.
It is unfortunately true that we had not been getting permission to use these photos. The problem is not only a copyright issue, but also that the people in the photos wouldn’t have known that the pictures would be used for additional purposes beyond the Marketing department.
There’s no excuse for not having permission to use photos, and it’s my fault that it became such a regular practice. It’s easy to act like a student newspaper isn’t a “real” paper, and I frankly became somewhat lazy over the past few years in regard to photographs and assumed that we could use whatever the college had. There’s a lot wrong with that, especially ethically, and I will make absolutely sure that we have permission to use every single photo that we publish.
This was a reminder to me that a student newspaper – or any student organization – needs to be treated as professionally and ethically as a “real-world” one would be. Having permission to use any type of information or photograph is pretty much Journalism 101, and, like I said, it’s inexcusable that I was letting photos get published without permission.
On one hand, working on a college newspaper is a learning experience, and some mistakes are inevitable; but on the other hand, I need to be applying the same principles I would apply to a real job with real consequences to this position.
2. Last week, I was interviewing some professors about their thoughts on the first-year seminar pilot (which way they voted and why, if they were interested in teaching a seminar, etc.), and I was surprised to find out that some professors were unaware that the seminar offered in the pilot would be optional for freshmen.
Clearly, I have no idea what goes on in Faculty Senate meetings, but I’m starting to get the sense that they can get fairly confusing. Based on conversations I had, some professors were voting on this pilot without being aware of some details associated with it, such as its length (three years) or the fact that it’s an optional course.
This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault, but I think it’s pretty troubling. If your reason for supporting the pilot is the common experience it creates for freshmen, but then you find out that the class is actually optional, the potential benefits of that “common experience”don’t necessarily apply. Supporting the idea of a freshman seminar isn’t the same thing as supporting this particular pilot.
Again, I’m not trying to cast the blame anywhere, but I think it’s a legitimate concern for students if academic measures are being passed without all the details being clear to everyone casting a vote.