The Importance of Trust in the Newsroom

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Abbey Delk, News Editor

I applied to be the news editor for Volume 103 of The Fordham Ram on a whim. Well, maybe not a whim exactly, but the decision did feel a bit odd. I hadn’t ever held an editor’s position at the newspaper before. I had been writing for the news section for less than a year. So, it was very much a shot in the dark. I didn’t expect to actually get the position.

Yet, here I am with 14 issues under my belt as news editor. How did I get here? Of course, I can partially thank my writing ability, my confidence, and, of course, my incredible good looks. If you look back on the past few news editors, you’ll see that we are a wildly attractive bunch. But I think the real reason I was lucky enough to land this incredible position was trust. 

The executive team for Volume 102 was willing to trust me and believed that I would put my best effort into learning the ins and outs of the news editor role. I promised them I would work hard and take care of the section, and they trusted me. I am grateful for that trust every day.

Trust is a big part of the world of journalism. The public trusts journalists to deliver the truth, to help them see a more accurate, detailed picture of the world around them. Journalistic integrity is the foundation of our work, and it’s the thing that separates true journalists from opportunists and manipulators. 

Readers’ trust in journalists has never felt more tenuous, as accusations of “fake news” toward credible media outlets continue to run rampant. Powerful people benefit from an erosion of trust between journalists and the public, as it allows them to operate in the dark without consequence or accountability. Maintaining and fostering trust in the media is the essential mission of our newest generation of young journalists.

Everything we do in the news section is built around trust. The other editors on staff trust me to manage our news section with care and dedication. The students and faculty I interview trust me to represent their stories accurately and fairly. I trust the news writers I work with to work diligently on their articles and always value accuracy over ease or speed. Fordham administrators trust that our staff has the Fordham community’s best interest at heart. Our readers trust us to bring them the stories that matter to them. Everything, and I mean everything, goes back to trust. 

I want to thank everyone who has put their trust in me over this past year. Thank you to our brilliant and unwavering editor-in-chief, Rachel Gow, who I’ve been able to rely on and confide in over the last year. She’s done everything possible to bring this newspaper through the pandemic in one piece. Thank you to the executive board at the Ram for making me feel welcomed when I joined staff last semester. It’s such a gift to be able to leave this experience with such a wonderful group of new friends. 

Thank you to Hasna Ceran, our features editor, who knows more than I do already and has a bright future ahead of her at the Ram. Thank you to Sebastian Diaz and Isabel Danzis, our assistant news editors, who never complain and are always willing to help with anything I throw at them. The section wouldn’t have been what it is without their hard work. I can’t wait to see what they do in the future. 

And, of course, I want to thank the readers. Whether you pick up a copy of our print edition every Wednesday morning like clockwork or just occasionally browse our website, everything we do is for you. Thank you for trusting me and my news team to bring you the stories of the Fordham community. We take our job seriously. We hope you can tell.

I’m going to be relieved when December rolls around and I turn in my last layout pages as news editor. It really is a lot of work to make a newspaper every week, and I think all of us will be glad for a break. But I will miss the late nights in the Ram office. I’ll miss writing news budgets. I’ll miss the jokes and stories the editors share on production nights. I’ll miss the carefully-crafted playlists of our managing editor Dylan Balsamo. 

I’ll miss the trust everyone had in me for the last year. It was invaluable and precious. I hope that wherever I go after The Ram, I’ll find that kind of trust again. The Ram really is something special, and I’ll miss being part of this amazing team. 

But for now — back to work!