Our commitment is to the truth

A petition has been submitted to the student government by students asking that funds be withheld from the Advocate unless we stop publishing citation articles about students charged with law violations filed at District Justice John Barron’s office on Stonycreek Township.

We believe an essential part of our journalism is to include reports on the citations that police file, because the profession demands that we cover our community from all aspects.

It is integral to our training, because journalists everywhere in this nation report on police filing criminal charges. Those reports include names of the people charged.

If we aspire to be credible journalists, we need to practice the way the professionals do.

Our masthead explains that we are not a censored publication.

Criminal activity is a part of our community’s uncensored truth. This means that we have a responsibility to document criminal charges.

In fact, this information is public record and can be found online through the statewide Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania Web Portal at ujsportal.pacourts.us.

It is not in our interest to cause anyone harm or discourage employers from hiring a Pitt-Johnstown student because of published public record criminal allegations.

We are not in the business of retracting information that was correct at the time of publication.

If a reader has an issue with something that was printed, such as that charges have since been dropped, we encourage you to write a letter to the editor.

We want your voice.

Writing a letter to the editor that may be published is a way for the reader to contribute to the conversation and update the community.

It is disheartening to see that our efforts are being discredited, even to our extinction.

We believe that we bring something valuable to campus as a student-run, uncensored newspaper that documents our whole community, and we plan to continue our work.