By Ashley Wall
Dear FSU community members,
During this week’s SGA open forum, a student came forward with concerns regarding an Instagram post featuring the front page of our Oct. 16 issue.
The purpose of open forum is to provide a space for students to voice their concerns, and I am appreciative of both SGA and the student for using this platform to bring their concerns to my attention.
The front page in question features a photo of an FSUPD officer wearing a Blue Lives Matter mask while representing the department on a public relations initiative – the Pink Patch breast cancer awareness project – which we were covering.
The photo opportunity with the officer was planned ahead of time.
There was no FSUPD mask dress code in place in October. As the photographer, it would have been inappropriate for me to ask the officer to replace his mask in order to alter the circumstances of the feature photo. It is not the job of journalists to manipulate reality.
During the open forum – which is covered in this week’s SGA article – the student said he was concerned about the University presenting itself as an anti-racist institution because The Gatepost’s Instagram post contradicts this stance, in his opinion.
The Gatepost is an independent student newspaper and does not speak on behalf of the University. We do not work for the University.
Rather, we report objectively, ethically, and independently, covering all aspects of our community without an angle, set agenda, or political ideology.
The role of journalists is to record and present all points of view in their community. The Gatepost does not make decisions about reporting and photography based on a preferred ideological framework. Rather, it is our ethical responsibility to set aside our own biases and belief systems in order to be as objective as possible.
Additionally, The Gatepost has received two censorship requests from organizations and committees on campus asking that the Instagram post featuring our Oct. 16 front page be taken down. These are inappropriate requests to make of an independent student newspaper at a public university.
As Editor-in-Chief, I take the feedback we receive from our community seriously. Please reach out to The Gatepost at any time by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns you may have.