What Is The Vermont Cynic?

In this past few weeks, tempers have flared and angry phone calls and messages have been left about the Cynic. People want an objective newspaper, but there is no such thing. CNN, The New York Times and other very respected news organizations are not objective by any means. Removing people’s natural biases is extremely difficult, even in organizations full of professionals. The paper has been called too conservative, way too liberal, run by chauvinistic pigs, “stupid because we can get the same news on CNN,” too professional and not professional enough. Now, we can’t be all of these, that’s just not possible. Our news section attempts to be as objective as possible, while our opinions/editorials section is, of course, not. Some get confused about this section, yelling at us in angry moments of fury on our voice mail about how our opinions are wrong. Last time we checked, opinions cannot be wrong. If opinions were right and wrong, then they would be fact, and not opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and us representing many different views does not qualify us as “irresponsible journalists.” Opinions, as the wise saying goes, are like noses, everybody has one. Before people criticize our coverage and our paper, people should consider our masthead, “The Vermont Cynic.” We’re not the Catamount Weekly, and we haven’t been for the last 119 years. Our objective is to cover events and happenings on campus, and to also take a critical look at the University and the campus. It’s not our job to paint a rosy picture of UVM and the people who run it. It is our job to be cynical, at least on the opinions/editorials section. Our columnists and letters to the editor are the sole opinion of those writers credited. The only thing that is in fact the opinion of the paper is the uncredited editorial on the left side of page 2. People claim we act too professional and don’t cover the right things in the Cynic, stuff they can get on CNN. There are some issues, as serious and “boring” as they may be, that need to be covered, included issues of drug abuse, violence and other national issues that affect college students. Sorry that it’s not as interesting as “Light beer v. dark beer,” but I don’t feel that a paper full of those types of ‘investigative journalism’ is professional by any means. We’ll save that for April 1. For those who say that we’re not professional enough, we’re not as expansive and don’t have the experience of the AP and The Boston Globe. We’re a bunch of hard-working full-time undergrads trying our darndest to put a product for the entire university, slaving on old Macs at 6am on a Monday morning, pulling all-nighters every week to get the paper out for people to enjoy and criticize every Tuesday morning. So, the next time you’re complaining to your friends, or to us, just remember what we’re trying to do for the University. We do welcome constructive criticism, as well as praise. If you think you can make the paper better, we challenge you to come down and join us, every Wednesday at 5pm down in our office in Billings.