FAQ (Frequently asked questions)

 

 What are you?

Voices is a daily student-run news and media publication.

 

Who is supporting you?

Our publication is on its way to being chartered, all the while having an Editorial Board with over fifteen members with leaders in over eight campus organizations, including affinity groups and political organizations. We are on Swarthmore’s domain and are currently financially supported through administration, and through alums.

 

 I’m not interested in hearing marginalized voices or reading reliable news on campus. Can I be unsubscribed from your mailing list?

Of course! You can do so by going to the bottom of any email you have received.

 

 I don’t get Voices...you all have the privilege of attending Swarthmore and are just complaining when the campus bubble is surrounding you.

Sorry—that is an accusation, not a question.

 

 I guess I just don’t understand why you are reacting this way.

The notion that liberalism is a sanctuary for marginalized students on this campus is toxic and blinding many students from the realities these students actually face every day. While Swarthmore may be a liberal bubble for you, for many marginalized students on campus, this campus is, in fact, the opposite of a bubble, and perpetuates the same systems of oppression. Furthermore, we as marginalized people do not have the luxury of staying within this “bubble” anyway—America’s entire state still affects us deeply. Lastly, Voices transcends liberal versus conservative polarization. Notedly, this publication is about more than just a political agenda. Rather, it is about journalistic integrity, which has no side but the side of ethical journalism.

We have strict policies in place for all of our writers, editors, copyeditors, and staff. Ethical journalism includes minimizing harm, which means making sure marginalized students’ stories are not told in inflammatory, racist, or offensive ways. We want to give them the mic to speak about their own communities and they are not to be tokenized. Lastly, all we did was start a new campus publication. If we can’t kneel, burn a flag, or even just start new campus organizations, we aren’t sure what you expect us to do. Shut up and take it? Well, that’s not going to happen!

 

I just started attending Swarthmore and was not here during the (insert part) of the boycott. Can I be a part of other campus publications and Voices?

Of course! No one is here to stop you. Voices is not based on a boycott ending or beginning and will, and already does, coexist with other campus publications. However, Voices has solid infrastructure, high standards of journalistic integrity, and does not tolerate an essentialization of other publications in its work.

 

I’m IN A privileged position. i don't really have anything to say about my own experiences. I want to be an ally, and will help in the way that is most needed from me. How can I participate?

It is integral that you want to be an ally. This platform is for everyone. We need allies on this platform, too, to hold the community accountable for our mission. News is our most intensive section, as we publish news daily, so we need the most hands. If you have nothing to say to make your voice heard and rather want to lift up others, this is probably the best avenue for you. You can report the stories of marginalized people without putting your own voice into it. Before doing so, you will undergo an intensive training—as all our writers do. This way, we help train you to have a journalistic voice that will benefit you now and after your time at Swarthmore.

 

I want to write a Perspectives piece, but I fear I come from a privileged position that might counteract that of a marginalized person. What do I do?

Ask yourself, firstly, if your perspective is one that would not be heard elsewhere. Are you concerned with reliable campus journalism and making sure marginalized voices are heard, or do you just want to have the microphone yet again? If there is something you can’t say in another publication, ask yourself—is there a person of color you know or who is at Swarthmore who will probably be able to speak better from that experience? Probably so. If you still feel you want to particularly be a part of Voices’ opinions section, then you can speak to our Drafting Editor, Jay Smack ’19, and they will help you draft your idea. Under an intensive process that occurs with all our Perspectives writers regardless of identity, your piece will be read by at least two Perspectives editors, the Managing Editor, and the Editor-In-Chief, as well as by Contributing Editors if necessary. For more specific policy, contact voices@swarthmore.edu.

 

How is your publication prioritizing marginalized voices while also being unbiased in news?

In our news, we use SPJ’s Code of Ethics to discern between journalistic integrity and moral standards. News is unbiased in its approach as a story of the event covered and not actually an opinion about it from us. We cover all sides of the story as needed. Perspectives pieces are prioritized for marginalized voices in whichever form they may exist as long as these pieces are well-researched, exhaustive and non-offensive. Furthermore, lead editors (Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, News Editors, Culture Editors, and Perspectives Editors) are not allowed to write Perspectives pieces.

 

How can Voices be a place for critical discourse if certain opinions aren’t allowed? Are y’all really being as inclusive as you say you are?

Voices is a place for well-researched, exhaustive news and opinions. Voices publishes a wide-range of opinions and news and does not discriminate on any basis. Our publication does not tolerate racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, Antisemitism, nor does any reliable news source in this country, especially in the wake of Charlottesville. We do not pretend these views don’t exist, but we also do not normalize them. Being “unbiased” in situations of human injustices is being complicit, often, in the murder of black lives, and the oppression and murder of other groups, as well. We will discuss multiple perspectives, but will not do so in a way that demonizes or misrepresents marginalized students, and do not tolerate unabashed, baseless ignorance as a mere “side,” or traditional conservative/liberal polarization . Voices takes its credibility very seriously. We have, in our Perspectives section, concrete policy of what makes a piece racist and/or oppressive in nature, and what being well-researched means for any topic. On any side of the spectrum, Voices will hold Perspectives writers accountable. These overarching views of society are ample and will still be acknowledged and discussed by the community—but will not exist impartially in its op-ed section. If Voices is the first campus publication to take a stand in acknowledging the significance of journalistic credibility, then so be it.

 

 

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