RUBINSON | Student Journalism Pushes Me Forward

Being a student journalist is no easy feat. You are tasked with reporting on the community in which you are inherently intertwined, covering contentious issues that implicate your peers and professors. You are told a juicy secret, only for your friend to then panic and tell you it is to remain off-the-record. You receive texts from an acquaintance for months, lobbying for you to report on their project team’s achievement that you know has no significance to the greater Cornell community.

Perhaps you report on a controversial remark a professor made at a rally. For weeks after, your Jewish peers approach you and ask how you could platform someone who espoused hateful rhetoric. At the same time, you receive public condemnation from a BIPOC student publication, alleging that you took the professor’s words out of context. You then receive droves of anonymous direct messages threatening you and questioning your impartiality.

Maybe you decide to investigate how a student leader was able to oust a city council incumbent through a secretive write-in campaign, only to find that it appears fraternities were a major voting bloc. Those fraternities then close ranks and even call the police on you for knocking on their doors. And after managing to get multiple brothers to speak to you about how they were promised a change in the noise ordinance to allow for later parties in exchange for their vote, those same students blame you when the article is published for the blowback they received from their fraternities for speaking to the press.