This Student Press Freedom Day, the Daily News Editorial Staff calls for support in student journalism.

Copies of the Daily News are piled in the conference room in the Unified Media Lab Feb. 22, 2023. Grayson Joslin, DN
Copies of the Daily News are piled in the conference room in the Unified Media Lab Feb. 22, 2023. Grayson Joslin, DN

In our newsroom, we have one main goal: to tell the stories that matter to the people who need to hear them. 

During the last decade, our publication has taken on the challenge of covering more than the Ball State community. We challenged the notion of being “a campus newspaper.” While the majority of our staff hasn’t called Delaware County home for longer than four years, we still take on the challenge of telling the stories of this community.

We know our purpose, and we know why we do the work we do. But that doesn’t stop outside forces from placing hurdles in our path.

That very notion is why Student Press Freedom Day is so important. 

Our work has had lasting impacts on the community. The Partnership Project Paper has brought national attention to the work done with Muncie Community Schools and Ball State. We have dedicated coverage that shines a light on the community schools so families of students know what is happening. 

We have a thriving section of sports reporters, many of whom are focused on covering Delaware County sports and bringing attention to the pool of talent in our local community. 

On campus, our staff has traveled across the country covering Ball State Athletics — telling stories that go beyond basic game coverage. We tell stories about the students who are athletes, not the athletes who happen to be students. We highlight the sports that are not covered by other outlets.

We have published in-depth investigative stories that have led to national coverage and legislative action, sparking conversation and change for the betterment of the community. 

Our publication has always dealt with mixed opinions from the administration and faculty at Ball State, extending beyond our immediate School of Journalism and Strategic Communication circle. 

Too often has our staff has been denied access to interviews with coaches and athletes by Ball State Athletics or asked to change how we ask questions in press conferences to accommodate coaches and players after tough games. We get to be on the sidelines and go to press conferences, but when our goal is to tell the stories beyond game recaps, how can we do that when some of the athletics staff is more focused on controlling the narrative rather than showcasing the best of their brand?

In the same breath, in most instances where our staff reaches out to any member of the university administration, the response is from a university spokesperson on how they can help handle the situation. Can university officials not respond to emails by themselves? Or does the marketing and communications wing of Ball State not trust them too?

Arguably, this is the job. We are journalists, and journalists don’t always get a response. However, especially with a public, government-funded university, transparency should not constantly be in question.

According to the Student Press Law Center, “Student Press Freedom Day is a national day of action when we celebrate the contributions of student journalists and the need to support their independence without censorship or threat to their advisers.” 

The theme for the 2024 Student Press Freedom Day is “Powerfully Persistent.” For those of us at the Daily News, we take that message to heart. 

Being persistent is to create change through adversity and remain optimistic as you power through challenges. Persistence is the most important skill for a journalist to have. Change-making stories, like all stories, don’t come from complacency. 

This Student Press Freedom Day, our staff would like to call on the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication and Ball State University to recognize the one way they can foster an encouraging learning environment for student journalists: support. 

Support that is active, fair and encourages the work we do in the newsroom. Not support that shows up once a year to toast our achievements or takes to social media for the latest award.

This support is best found when administration, athletics and anyone connected to Ball State is willing to work with its student journalists rather than barring us from athletes, administration and other sources.

In a world of news deserts, misinformation and a need for young journalists, the Daily News promises to remain persistent against the forces to provide our community with real, change-making stories that need to be told. 

As always, thank you for your support.

Contact the Ball State Daily News with comments at or on X @bsudailynews .


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