UBC Insider mission statement

Posted by: | February 19, 2008 | 6 Comments

We here on the blog have been feeling that lately we’ve been losing some focus. With more boisterous and demanding readership, an election campaign, and fewer (non-graduating) writers, the pressure (and temptation) to spit out easy personality-centered posts is hard to resist. This is an attempt to step back and re-balance. Though it may not be in your face, this blog is and has always been based on a certain type of philosophy, which goes beyond reporting news, or having a personal pulpit. By creating this mission statement, we’re laying out the values and goals we aspire to with our blog. We hope that it will give both ourselves and our readers clear(ish) expectations of our journalism, and our community here on the blog. We hope that by laying out these expectations and aspirations, we’ll help ourselves live up to them, and help you understand the place we’re coming from. Bear in mind that this exercise is somewhat platonic – this is a chair in the sky – but this is the chair we’ll be trying to approximate, though we may not always make it.

Our Mission:

  • To use our experience, networks, and knowledge base to empower UBC students to educate themselves about campus and university affairs. We will present issues, deliver background as clearly as possible, and use those issues as springboards for open discussion.
  • To be inclusive. We will strive to engage as many students as possible and invite our fellow university community members to participate in discussion that is relevant to them.
  • To thoroughly discuss the issues themselves and where people fit into them rather than the other way around.
  • To provide intelligent and insightful commentary and perspectives on issues relating to UBC and the UBC community.
  • To create a lively and respectful forum for debate and discussion of campus and higher education issues

Our Values:

  • The balance of facts in concert with perspective; the understanding that this balance is fine but adjustable.
  • Respect and trust in each other.
  • Refusing to obliterate our unique voices and positionalities (or those of our readers) in pseudo-objective conceits.
  • The assumption of the intelligence of our readers.
  • Accessibility to UBC’s complete student body
  • due diligence with facts and source checking.

Our philosophy:

Think of our blog as broccoli: it may not be the most attractive and appealing food, but damn if it’s not good for you and ultimately delicious. While we may have named ourselves the “insiders,” we do not subscribe to the duality of in/out; we recognize the value of different brands of involvement unlike our own. Relating items from the weekly news-cycle to longer term issues is a priority. Gossip will be minimal, but juicy when we do run it. The AMS is not the centre of the universe. Our posts will be accessible on several levels of previous knowledge. The spirit of investigation and depth of analysis are important to us. We write what we’re interested in, without presumptions of doing everything and satisfying everyone.


6 Comments so far

  1. Jesse Ferreras on February 19, 2008 8:14 pm

    Props on doing this. It takes just a little initiative to put this kind of thing out there in order to hold yourself accountable. So good on you.

    One thing though – neither your values nor your mission statement bind you to the initiative of reporting things correctly. There’s only a clause about the balance of facts with perception – and that can be abused with reckless abandon.

    I understand this is a blog, and as such a forum for discussion rather than a platform for reporting. But in the course of composing a post, you’ll find yourself drawing on facts in order to support an argument. Will there be a commitment to put those facts down correctly? Or to haphazardly write them down and hope that a simple correction will solve the problems initiated by a factual error?

    Just asking. And again, good on you for doing this.

  2. maayan kreitzman on February 20, 2008 7:28 am

    Yes, you’re right. I suppose we thought of it as implicit that we check to make sure our posts are factually correct, but since this is supposed to be a (semi) permanenet statement, it’s better to be explicit about it. I’ve added a line about it. Verifying and checking facts is definitely important. I think the blog format is a bit more forgiving about allowing for adjustments and corrections, but I know we try to be right on the first time, and I spend a fair amount of time researching. This is not say that we won’t be including items that are more speculative and less factual in nature.

  3. Gina Eom on February 20, 2008 9:59 am

    Jesse good point about the fact checking. Does the Ubyssey have a similar mission statement published on its website? It’s been hard for me to find it.

  4. Jesse Ferreras on February 20, 2008 4:39 pm

    If I remember correctly you’ve taken a good long look at the Ubyssey’s constitution, so check that again. I too did not find anything on its website.

    To be quite blunt with you, I’m not entirely sure there is a clause to that effect. But keep in mind that when I’m commenting on this website I’m speaking for me alone, and not the Ubyssey.

  5. Anonymous on February 21, 2008 2:48 am

    How is your poll on UBC media “rags” and toilet paper respectful? Does it not imply that…hmm… maybe you should add a value of humor to your statement if it was supposed to be funny, then run another poll including your own ‘rag’ – I remember a paper copy of it we used in rez when there was no toilet paper left.
    And remember, you can write the best mission statements and still violate them: you can write them even if you already have violated them in the past… it is similar to how Bush does it

  6. Anonymous on February 21, 2008 9:09 am

    Anon loves UBC Insiders even more now. <3

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind

Spam prevention powered by Akismet