Government and the media were not made to get along. They have opposite goals. Journalists report the facts, aiming for transparency at all times while attempting to not push a certain agenda or bias. The government has an agenda: to pass laws that often go against public opinion. These two goals set the stage for the Beltway Bulletin.
Ed Klauber, a former executive at CBS, said, “…in a democracy it is important that people not only should know but should understand.”
What news analysts are entitled to do and should do is to elucidate and illuminate the news out of common knowledge, or special knowledge possessed by them or made available to them by this organization through its sources. They should point out the facts on both sides, show contradictions with the known record, and so on. They should bear in mind that in a democracy it is important that people not only should know but should understand, and it is the analyst’s function to help the listener to understand, to weigh, and to judge, but not to do the judging for him.
We at the Beltway Bulletin aim to be the analysts, helping taxpayers understand what their elected officials are doing. We will help our readers weigh and judge these actions, and we will hope to engage the public — especially the younger generation —in the political process.
The Beltway Bulletin is a student run publication at the University of Maryland. Every article, video and photo will be produced by a student. While these students will be gaining experience in the competitive field of journalism, they will also be looking to help their peers understand the political process.
Every article will have one core value: truth. We will seek truth in reporting. We will find the faces behind the issues. We will shed light on underreported stories.
We also want readers to be engaged. Leave a comment. Send us an email. Offer your thoughts. The political process works best when all aspects of society are engaged. That includes you, the reader.
So welcome to Beltway Bulletin. Whether you’re a regular reader or here for one article, we hope you leave the site more engaged and informed.
-Michael Stern and Pablo Roa
Beltway Bulletin Co-Founders