Last week, we printed candidate profiles for the CSU's Fall election. We do this for every CSU election, and due to the nature of student politics, the article tends to be fairly dry and one-sided regardless of who writes it, as the article is primarily composed of the candidates' explanation of their own platforms. This term we decided to add something new – Courier Picks. However, this isn't an idea we came up with on our own. No less than 36 newspapers published endorsements during the recent Canadian federal election, including the Georgia Straight, the National Post, Maclean's, the Globe and Mail, and even the Economist. S

till, we did not make the decision lightly. Our staff had many discussions regarding the candidate endorsements, from whether we should include them at all, to whether we should include candidate endorsements in categories we felt only had poor choices. In the end, we decided to include the Courier Picks only for candidates we felt deserved an endorsement. Our choices did not alter the fairness of the profiles, as those were based entirely on interviews with the candidates themselves. This was explained in the introduction to the article, but in lieu of the concerns that have come up, it seemed important to explain further.

Journalistic integrity is something that has significant importance at the Courier, and we take what we publish seriously. That said, remaining neutral is an impossible task. We take pride in the fairness and accuracy of our articles (though we do make mistakes, and love to be constructively corrected), and we like to think our news coverage is balanced in nature. However, balanced does not mean unbiased. At the Courier, we understand that truly unbiased journalism is impossible in this form. We show our bias in many ways - editors impose their view of what is worth covering and what is not, writers decide from whom to get quotes and what sides of the story they will cover. What we do not cover is even more revealing than what we do. As a student-run publication, however, these biases are constantly changing and evolving, and there is no single leaning that embodies the whole newspaper.

The purpose of a news article is not to give the same amount of space to both sides of the story, it is to find and report the true story. When the research points to a clear conclusion, then the article should reveal this. It is more biased to obscure the true story in order to preserve “journalistic neutrality” than it is to tell the complete, true, unbalanced story. True life is unbalanced, and journalism reflects this, whether the publication admits it or not.

In light of these circumstances, the “neutral” theme of the Courier's fall party, Pushing Buttons, is increasingly topical. This is poking fun at both journalistic neutrality as well as the all the sand, tan, camel, and beige clothes that are so trendy right now, under the umbrella term of “neutrals” (we try to stay current). I mention the event both for shameless promotional reasons (it's only five dollars!!!) and also because comments have already been made denouncing the Courier for choosing the neutral theme, and I would just like to publish my hearty, bellowing laughter.

We are not unbiased, and we aren't pretending to be. We are, however, a fair and accountable publication that does our best to foster students into strong and aware writers, and provide many forms of comprehensive and diverse news coverage.

“After all, the ultimate goal of all research is not objectivity, but truth.” —Helene Deutsch

— Sarah Vitet // editor-in-chief

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com