Crossing the Line

Spencer Hardwick, Staff Writer

So, this week I am going to take a deviation from what I normally write about and focus on something a little more serious. As some of you already know, my last column for the Mirador, called East Coast vs. West Coast, got me in a substantial amount of trouble with both my editors and the school administration. Due to some oversight on the part of me and my section editor, several comments made it into the column, and subsequently online, that the administration determined to be derogatory and demeaning to certain people.

While my intentions were certainly not to offend anyone in any way, there is a level of respectability that a school paper such as the Mirador must retain. And although some of my readers told me my last column “was the funniest thing they had ever read,” there is a very big difference between what is funny between students and what is funny to adults.

As a first year staff writer, I am still learning the difference between the two. Last year in Journalism 1 I could make whatever  references I wanted, and if the wonderful Mrs. Quiter thought they were too over the top or too inappropriate then she just told me. There was no intervention or stern talking to by my editors necessary.

But now as a writer for the Mirador, it is a whole different ball game. In Journalism 1, my articles were confined within the walls of the classroom, but here our readership includes not just students but teachers, parents, and probably a few really really smart first graders. I still want to write articles that people can laugh about, but at a certain point there needs to be a line drawn between what is funny out on the quad at lunch, and what is funny to a parent, community member, or a teacher reading the paper.