Editor in chief: Lariat considers mediocre paper unacceptable

By Chris Derrett
Editor in Chief

So you picked up a copy of the Lariat. The front page had some interesting stories, there’s nothing else to do in class and you chose to flip to the opinion section.

Before you turn any further, you should know who’s in charge of leading the Lariat this year.

He’s the bum who didn’t score a job or internship this summer. He pulled a C-plus in both Christian Scriptures and Heritage and got laughed at by his church’s youth pastor as a result. He’ll be taking Fitness Theory and Practice, not bowling, racquetball or soccer, because he slept through last spring’s 6 a.m. class registration.

His average-looking portrait is just above, he uses self-deprecating humor to escape awkward and/or embarrassing social situations, and I honestly think talking in third person is stupid.

That’s enough about me. This is about you.

Yes, you.

You – the reader for whom we write, whether you’re a freshman seeing this in print at the SUB or an alumnus thousands of miles away on the Lariat’s website.

You – students finding ways to afford a $28,000-plus education through hard work and sometimes a little help.

You – members of the Baylor family on the giving end of that help in the form of vital donations to scholarship funds.

This is also about us. I don’t mean us as in Lariat employees; I mean us, the entire Baylor family – those who report our news and those who consume it. When Baylor says it’s financially taking care of students, we want to know how. If our board of regents makes an important decision, shouldn’t we know the reasoning behind it?

When it comes to being informed, you deserve the best. Look at the university, which has spent the last decade working a plan to ensure Baylor is one of the best schools in the country for years to come.

Last year, the Houston Press Club considered the Lariat the best, and as a result, it received the award for the Best College Newspaper in Texas.

That trophy, however, means as much to you as the fourth quarter means to Lebron James.

Our success really depends on two things – whether you pick up the paper once (check) and whether you pick it up again and again and again. And we know our leash is short; you can see right through a poorly written article filled with hot air.

This isn’t English Thinking, Writing and Research. A B-minus effort doesn’t keep you informed, is unfair to you and gives you no reason to pick up the next issue.

If you’re looking for the kind of stories you see so often today, the ones backed by anonymous “sources,” you won’t find them here. Even an 80 or 90 percent success rate on unnamed sources isn’t good enough for us. That’s too many potential retractions.

We’ll talk to President Ken Starr. We’ll talk to coach Art Briles. The professor you’re tuning out right now might be a source if he or she can offer important insight. Sometimes the Texas Legislature proves to be the source we need. We’re there.

We’ll ask questions whether our interview subjects like them or not, and if we don’t get answers, we’ll search until we find them.

You’ll see the results everywhere. We print four times a week, produce slideshows and videos on our website, and make sure you know about it using social media websites.

Our inbox is always open for letters to the editor, suggestions and complaints.

So please, turn the page. Give us a chance to tell you some news.

Still not sold? Turn the page. It’s either this or that textbook staring at you.

Chris Derrett is a senior journalism major from Katy and the Lariat’s editor in chief.