The campus press serves a vital role in educational institutions, providing students with a platform to voice their opinions, report on issues relevant to their community, and engage in journalistic endeavors. But there has been a trend that tries to elevate campus journalism to the standards of the professional media industry, undermining the fundamental essence of the campus press, stripping away its uniqueness, and compromising the freedom it enjoys.

First and foremost, campus press operates within a distinct and limited environment compared to professional media outlets. Student journalists are still considered learners albeit active participants in the community they report on. Their perspectives are shaped by their experiences as students but at the same time governed by the institution that is molding them, giving them an evolving grasp of campus dynamics. Attempting to professionalize campus press overlooks this intrinsic connection and the value it brings to their reporting.

Furthermore, the freedom enjoyed by the campus press is undoubtedly limited. Unlike professional journalists who may not face editorial restrictions or political influence, student reporters can only explore issues without internal pressures. This limited freedom impairs creativity, critical thinking, and a genuine commitment to truth-telling. Professionalizing campus press promises this independence, subjecting it to the same freedoms mainstream media enjoys.

Yes, the campus press serves as a training ground for future journalists, offering students hands-on experience in journalism, and allowing them to develop essential skills such as writing, interviewing, and ethical decision-making. But by attempting to align campus press with professional standards, we risk depriving students of this basic learning opportunity as they may end up clashing with the administration on certain issues. The unique challenges and opportunities campus journalism offers are then defeated as they cannot be replicated in a professional setting.

So, the push to professionalize campus press is misguided and ultimately detrimental to the integrity of student journalism. Instead of trying to fit it into the mold of the professional media industry, we should celebrate its distinctiveness and the freedom it affords. Campus press plays a crucial role in promoting responsible reportage on the campus community and nurturing the next generation of journalists. Let us preserve and protect its unique voice, not allowing opportunists to utilize it for their hidden agenda.