Lets get a few things straight about… the Gauntlet

By Anne-Marie Bruzga

The Gauntlet has recently come under fire in regards to its journalistic practices. In the hopes of dispelling inaccuracies, here’s a few truths about the publication and what it represents:

• We believe in presenting fair and balanced news stories. That said, we do not allow people who are involved with special interest groups or clubs (read: Revolutionary Anarchist Kollektive) to write news stories on the very events to which they are both participants and subjects within the story. We will, however, collect and publish comments from these same people in order to produce a solid and ethical news piece.

• We run our editorial department completely separate from our news department. Notice clear bias appears within opinion articles; they are people’s opinions. Note that news never contains the opinion of the writer, but only shares the comments of those who factor into said stories.

• Contrary to ignorant belief, we do not run things for revenge or vendetta sake. We only seek to run those articles and opinions which may generate discussion and provoke honest examination of issues–even if the truth is ugly (see page 13).

• Over the years, people have claimed to pay up to $100 per year for the Gauntlet. Here’s a pretty truth: you pay $7 per year as a full-time student–that’s less than 20 cents an issue.

• The Gauntlet is not run or owned by the Students’ Union. We are completely autonomous. Every week, you do see their ad on page two (we don’t design this), and you may or may not read their Students’ Legislative Council View. These are part of agreements we have with the SU so we can lease office space.

• You’ve also probably noticed a trend in giving the SU generous coverage within the news section. Because we take money from students, part of our mandate dictates that over 50 per cent of our coverage must be about student news on campus. Ergo, the student-elected body (the SU) is most commonly featured in the paper. We also do this because we feel it is important to cover any student-elected body that has no official opposition. In doing so, we hope to provide you with the balanced information you need to understand and hopefully question SU practices. The same goes for any of the stories we cover in the paper–including Dinos athletics (they don’t own us either).

• The Gauntlet is run by students for students. There’s no secret handshake you need to know to contribute and shape the Gauntlet. We have an educational mandate to train students at the University of Calgary on the basic tenets of journalism, and that means anyone who has the passion, drive and lust for good journalism can volunteer. It really is that simple.

• We do the very best we can, every week. You must sincerely believe that genuine sacrifices (usually a life, grades, a degree, significant others, better paying jobs, etc.) are made each week, and each year in order to publish the Gauntlet. It’s not that we expect people to really care or even give sympathy, but we do hope, at the very least, readers understand that the people who give their time–no, parts of their lives–to this organization do so for the greater good. All of these people write, edit, design, draw, and take photos so we, as a student community, can explore ideas, expose stories, entertain, educate, and provoke thought. They do so not for personal gain or profit, but for the sheer reward of knowing they’re helping students. And perhaps that in itself is the big story that’s been missing from the Gauntlet.

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