The GatewayUncategorized

Statement: The end of Campus Crime Beat

The Gateway is changing how we cover stories about campus crime, for the better

Campus, we have heard you. 

There is, arguably, no more important news that journalism covers than issues regarding crime and public safety. We have an obligation to share this news in the most informative and respectful way possible. 

The Gateway has evolved from a weekly published paper, to a mixed format magazine and online publication. As times change, our content needs to change too. 

In the early 2000s, The Gateway began publishing an article series entitled Campus Crime Beat. The most substantive explanation for the production of the series was published on the second page of the August 30, 2001 edition of The Gateway newspaper

As outlined in the segment explanation above, The Gateway intended the series to emphasize “crime awareness” towards the “prevention of victimization.” The Gateway wanted to talk about the serious phenomenon of campus crime, and contribute to campus safety.

Yet, as you can see from subtitles within the article, the tone of the series was not one reflective of the importance of this news. From the very beginning, as an article series, Campus Crime Beat was not designed to be the most respectful avenue for talking about this news.

Over the years, the tone of the Campus Crime Beat article has leaned further into being a humorous segment. Campus incidents have been recalled with language intended to be light hearted and entertaining. The series also relies heavily on statistics and incidences communicated to us by the University of Alberta Protective Services, and does not stress the student voice enough.

The Gateway has listened to and believed the years of lived experience that many students have expressed over the years in regards to policing and campus safety. We see and know that policing and safety measures have generally failed and re-victimized underrepresented communities. Systemic racism within all institutions, including policing, has affected Black and Indigenous people broadly. Communities needing the most protecting, such as the LGBTQ+ community, have been victimized by those who were supposed to help them. 

We are at a flashpoint of activism, and the demand to reform justice systems is something we believe is absolutely reasonable and necessary. Injustice must be addressed and amended. 

As such, we do not believe that Campus Crime Beat is the best and most respectful way to convey important news about crime on campus. 

The Gateway will no longer be publishing the Campus Crime Beat segment. Any imperative news regarding crime on campus will be published as regular or breaking news stories — while being held up to the same standards of critical analysis and a synthesis of the most important information from all sides. 

Additionally, The Gateway is introducing a monthly segment where we will be recounting important campus events of the month, including touching upon campus crime incidents. This way, we are able to communicate these important incidents to students, but in a way that is respectful and mindful of promoting campus safety. 

This change will be the first of many that The Gateway wants to make this year to better serve our campus community. We thank you for your feedback on this article series, and want you to know that we take criticism seriously. 

– The Gateway 

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