Viewpoint: Keep reading, and the Lariat will keep telling it like it is

By Rob Bradfield
Editor in chief

I read an obituary for “Facts” the other day in the Chicago Tribune.

It was funny, sad and more true than I would like to think. It also struck at the heart of what is wrong with our culture.

We have become a society divided further and further by violent political rhetoric that disregards everything from facts to basic human decency. Between the left and the far right lies a vast gulf of apathy in which the average American, disgusted by the conflicting interests, drowns in a sea of pop culture and processed food.

Panem et Circenses, as the Romans would say.

To an extent this is our fault. We, the media, have turned news viewers into partisans and radicals. What cannot be fit into our two narrow definitions of a balanced issue is thrown out and replaced by entertainment. Instead of men and women working tirelessly to make sure the truth is available, we obscure it behind glitz and lies.

We’ve substituted Edward R. Murrow for Bill O’Reilly, and I’m sorry for that. You deserve better.

We fell into the trap, but we did not create it. Somewhere along the line people stopped caring about learning the whole story.

The people on the fringes got louder and louder and eventually hijacked the grand debate that makes this country work so well.

The need to simplify things into black and white, right and wrong, Democrat and Republican has created a country where anyone that feels like they don’t fit into one of those camps gets left out of the debate and stops caring.

We all lost faith in one another.

The Lariat has had its problems in the past, but I’m proud to say that we have avoided the partisanship of mainstream media. I understand the criticism we receive. I used to be one of the Lariat’s biggest critics, and it’s true. We are students and we occasionally make mistakes. What is important is that we learn from those mistakes and whenever possible we heed the voice of the students and faculty that read our paper. That hasn’t been the norm around the university lately, but it will be for us.

I can’t say we won’t make mistakes and I can’t say that we’ll cover everything all the time, but we will do our best to bring truth to light. We will bring you facts that aren’t colored by anyone’s politics, least of all our own. We will be decent and honest and inquisitive, we will demand that our student body is not kept in the dark about things that affect them directly and when something needs to be said, we will say it.

It’s up to you now to care enough to listen.

Rob Bradfield is a senior journalism major from Waco and is the Lariat’s new editor in chief.