Potential initiative should be phrased differently

Denny Cristales and Gustavo Lopez

The new media procedures being worked on and being presented at during meetings – namely Faculty Senate – is an initiative that requires better structure in terms of its language, and is something everyone in the community of Cerritos College should learn and be involved with.

Miya Walker, director of public affairs, presented a draft for new media procedures on campus on Dec. 2 during Faculty Senate, as there was no structure in the way that the college dealt with outside media.

These media procedures, among other statutes, would require outside newspapers or other media to go through Public Affairs in order to be able to interview anyone on campus, including students.

The reporter would have to be accompanied by a Public Affairs staff member or campus employee designated by Public Affairs.

Internally, if a staff or faculty want to advertise a program or other event, it would be “encouraged to coordinate through Public Affairs prior to distribution.”

Public Affairs would also determine if the “written materials require editing, format changes or revisions …,” according to the draft as of Dec. 1.

This raised concern from professors and the Talon Marks staff because of the way it was written, it wasn’t exactly clear whether these new policies could potentially do harm to the operation of the campus newspaper.

During an interview with Walker, she explained that the proposed media policy would in fact not affect Talon Marks.

But what other effects could it have between the campus and outside media outlets?

Some staff think it might affect the way it will be able to address its concerns.

Because of the way it is written, and it is a draft so far so it can be changed, some professors might feel like they can’t speak their mind.

Although it is an advantage for Talon Marks to not be afflicted by this doctrine (and believe it, we were worried), think of how difficult things just got for the media.

Now, in order to get hands on a certain item or agenda, one has to go through an appointment scheduler, talk to certain people to orchestrate an interview and not have the opportunity to properly address said person without a PR person breathing down his neck.

We’d be hearing the politically correct answers of Cerritos College come out of everybody’s mouths; all answers sounding the same.

Regardless, it is a draft. Yes, the campus has its right to protect its own image and to take proper action to defend itself, but, additionally, media doctrines like the one presented a few weeks ago should provide better clarity in regard to what exactly it’s addressing and why it’s being enacted specifically.