Taking our job seriously

Rumbo Editorial
Rumbo Editorial

(This editorial was published on June 1st, 2013. It’s still relevant today.)

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is something that we at Rumbo take very seriously. In it, our forefathers established the right for the media to be established, and to publish. With that comes an awesome responsibility. Responsible journalism, in today’s society, is harder to come by.

With 24 hour news cycles, and media outlets that claim to be “news and information sources”, the First Amendment is sometimes stretched to its limits. Over our 20 year existence, we have covered many stories with an unbiased objective: to bring you the news and to let you form your own opinions about the stories we cover.

Sometimes, people or organizations disagree with the news we publish. That’s ok. As a matter of fact, that means we have done our job. We have given you, the reader, the chance to form your own opinion about an event, a person, a group of people – without bias, intent or malice on our part. We save our opinions on a story or issue for this section of the newspaper (the Editorial section) or in clearly named columns which are never presented as news.

Occasionally, we the media (including Rumbo), are confronted with loosely veiled threats of libel lawsuits because people or organizations are offended or threatened by the news that we publish.

The definition of libel involves four key components: Was the statement made by the media false? Was harm done to a person or organization? Was the statement made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement? Finally, was the statement made with the intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth?

Never, in our 20 years of publishing Rumbo, have we ever met any of these requirements, let alone a combination of them. Sometimes, the news is not flattering. While we take pride in showing stories and pictures of community events, we are in the news business.

It is our responsibility as leaders of the media members, present the news as we face it and present both sides of the story as accurately and as fair as possible when the two sides of the story allow us.

It’s a responsibility we take very seriously and we never deviate from it.