Last term, The Triangle conducted a survey of our readers to better understand how The Triangle is perceived by the Drexel community and to hear reader suggestions about areas that need improvement. With over 200 responses, we’d first like to thank everyone who participated in our survey. Your feedback is invaluable and integral to our growth as an organization and our maturation as a news outlet. We also want to dedicate this space, normally used for our editorial, to address the feedback we received.
The Triangle has been in publication since 1926. For the 85 years of our existence, we have been the independent source of news for the Drexel community. Some participants of our survey expressed a lack of awareness and skepticism of our independence; some even suggested that we abandon it. It’s important to note that remaining editorially and financially independent from Drexel University is what ensures our ability to report unbiased news. The free flow of information that is characteristic of independent news sources is integral to society because each and every individual deserves to hear the facts as they are. The media, in its most ideal state, functions as a watchdog. No matter how small the circulation of a newspaper, or how few the pageviews of a website, each media organization should hold their role as a watchdog in esteem. It’s something worth fighting for, it’s something worth celebrating and it’s something absolutely necessary, now more than ever. We live in an over-saturated media environment where often the loudest voice is the only one you can hear. But the loudest source isn’t always the best source or the most factual or most relevant. The Triangle strives to offer the Drexel community something that no other news source can: timely and unbiased reporting on events and issues that are important to Drexel students. We don’t try to tackle every international or even national news story because we know that in the information age, readers are already a few keystrokes away from accessing content from any media outlet from any country. Instead, we report on Drexel-related news and try to fill a news-niche. Our independence is the key concept that separates us from the Daily Digest, college newsletters and press releases. Sometimes we misspell words, yes. Sometimes we even misspell names. But our staff is a collection of ambitious Drexel students who sacrifice long nights in the middle of the week to put the paper together for you, so we firmly stand by them and their work. That being said, it is important for us to push our members to continue to improve with each production night and each paper that we put together.
For all of the above reasons, we took it directly to heart when a few participants said they didn’t trust us as a source of news. A few participants pointed to bias in articles. It’s true that diligently as we may try, we sometimes miss the mark on the tone of articles. After hearing your feedback, we plan to bring back new training methods for staff members — methods that don’t just emphasize AP style and deadlines, but also place an importance on tone and balance. Sometimes the difference between neutrality and bias is contained in one word. What we think shouldn’t necessarily be what we write. We value neutrality and vow to incorporate this into our staff training more this term.
A common criticism was that our paper contains typos or misspelled words. We won’t lie, every time we pick up a copy of The Triangle and see an error, we cringe. It’s embarrassing. While readers may see around 700 words per article, it is the one misspelled word that will stand out. Regardless, the readers are right. Difficult and time-consuming as a paper may be, the more attention to detail we pay, the more valued our readers will feel.
The Triangle staff is made up of students with a variety of backgrounds, interests and majors. We are not journalists by trade; we are journalists by choice. What we lack in formal training we make up for in commitment, and as such, we look forward to using your feedback as a framework to better our organization and ultimately deliver the highest possible quality of work to the Drexel community. We value your feedback and appreciate your continued trust in our abilities. Feedback is always welcome; we invite all readers to share their thoughts by emailing [email protected] or dropping us a note in our mailbox at 3010 MacAlister.