A couple of weeks ago, The Current Sauce published a news article covering the closing of a historic club here in Natchitoches that college students have hung out at for decades, The Body. The facts were straight, the grammar was up to par – so why was the article met with such hostility?
Not long after the paper was released, two tweets were sent out by students of Northwestern critiquing the paper’s coverage.
“The Body was the lifeblood of nightlife at NSU for 30+ years,” one student said. “It deserves a better article than this.”
The other student stated bluntly, “The Current Sauce is a joke.”
Newspapers everywhere get a fair share of criticism, whether it’s a newspaper being blasted as “fake news” by a Certain Someone or receiving direct and inevitable hate mail. Given that fact, it’d be easy to brush this off as part of the job. But given that our paper is made by students, for students, it would be unwise to dismiss their opinions here.
I’ll quit beating around the bush: What if these students actually have a point?
When I was a freshman, I read the university’s newspaper every week like any good nerd. I recall reading the opinions section of the paper and noticing an undeniable bias that was as pro-liberal as it was anti-anything conservative, even sometimes containing language I considered offensive towards small-town culture.
Some of my buddies shared that perception, so in response to it, I wrote a cute little anonymous article venting my frustration at Twitter jokes making fun of people of who wear camouflage. I was attempting to add a different point of view to the mix, but nevertheless, the bias remained (as did the Twitter jokes).
The paper’s tendency to lean liberal is not the only bias people are getting tired of, however.
“They have screwed over Greek life a few too many times for me to like them,” one NSU Greek student said regarding The Current Sauce. “I understand they have to have a story, but they don’t even attempt to get the entire story sometimes. They just write what they think happens.”
That same student had a problem with The Body article as well: “Where’s the bartenders’ interviews? Where’s the story about the closing and the renovating and it actually doing well until the owner died? It was like the article was an afterthought to spread space in the paper and not a lot of thought or heart went into it.”
As someone who regularly writes for the Sauce, I’m not about to sit back and call the paper “a joke.” But it’s hard to argue with some of the genuine gripes my fellow NSU Demons have pointed out.
I can’t speak on behalf of the person who wrote that article on The Body’s closing, and I’m not claiming to be a top-notch reporter myself. But for this paper to work as it’s supposed to, we need a broader, more diverse range of contributors, from all religions, organizations and political leanings.
Give us your opinions. Come to us directly with your criticisms. If you truly want The Current Sauce to be better, then by all means, help us make it better.