Beat from the Editor's Seat: The Lamron's new approach

This just in. Keeping with our efforts to constantly improve and suit the needs and expectations of our readers, The Lamron hopes to develop an umbrella policy of transparency.

Thus, we deliver to you this article. It may become a recurring column, but for now let's call it the beginning of a conversation. It isn't intended to be a mechanism for me to spout my grievances as an overworked editor or gush over how proud I am of The Lamron. Rather, I hope this will be a vehicle for us to engage you, our readers, in the process of putting together this student publication.

The Lamron officially has two missions: to provide the student body with a weekly newspaper and to create an environment in which students can practice skills in all facets of journalism (writing, reporting, editing, photography, design, business, advertising, public relations … and the list goes on).

If you hadn't already guessed, we are a dynamic organization with many working components and the only way to make sure our body of work achieves its mission is to open up the lines of communication.

In addition to this channel for communication, we are striving to eventually offer others such as an open forum and online message board.

While Lamron staff members are hardly required to keep a copy of the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics in their back pockets, we take standards of integrity and professionalism very seriously when discussing the issues and still we are faced with a fleeting and technology-driven environment that constantly prompts unprecedented ethical debates.

Especially because of the ever-increasing relevance of Internet media, editors of all types of publications in this digital age face an electronic paper trail that chronicles every decision they make. Online comments, updates, blogs, tweets and corrections all present new and interesting problems for us to consider.

In an effort to address these issues, The Lamron hopes to more sincerely embrace an attitude of transparency that will hopefully generate trust and respect from our readers. Hopefully through careful consideration and discussion we can make improvements in that and other areas.

So begins a journey to forge ahead on ethical policies, precedents and practices. While it's a privilege to be involved in the founding stages of creating standards, it's important to remember that we have to do it correctly. It would be irresponsible and probably over ambitious to attempt to arrive at any conclusions immediately. I think that what is most important, though, is that we're starting this conversation.

The odds are not in our favor. We will make mistakes this year. We will be thrust into predicaments for which we don't have an immediate solution. But that's all part of our growth as individuals and as a team.

All that we ask for is a reasonable degree of patience, understanding and, hopefully, feedback. After all, how can we be expected to satisfy the needs and desires of our audience if we don't know what they are? For now, we welcome comments on our website, and through e-mail at Please keep the discussion going.