Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Editorial: ‘The truth shall bear all light,’ journalism explained

Joey Trella
A group of Northern Star staffers sit around a table. The Northern Star Editorial Board outlines the basics of news literacy. (Joey Trella | Northern Star)

Not everyone understands the function of news or news organizations, so the Northern Star Editorial Board is outlining its functions and the capabilities of journalism.

The Society for Professional Journalism: “Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.”


Numerous groups affect NIU, The Student Government Association, Faculty Senate, University Council, the DeKalb City Council, your professors, students, unions and more. 

The job of the Northern Star is to find out how the actions of these groups and others will impact or interest people. What anyone says or does publicly gives any news organization a right to report. 

All content published by the Northern Star is not controlled by NIU. Our organization is entirely student-run, and the content is controlled by student editors.

The Star is an apolitical entity. We do not endorse political movements or ideas. We do not promote organizations, ideas or groups.


Editorials and columns are the only pieces of content published by the Northern Star that include the intentionally opinionated thoughts of staffers.

Editorials are the sole opinion or message of the Northern Star Editorial Board – the editor-in-chief, managing editors and section editors. 

Columns are the sole opinion of the opinion columnist.

News articles do not include opinions, and the staff goes great lengths to avoid bias in their reporting and coverage.


Journalists compile information in many ways, mainly through publicly available information. If we are in a public space and something happens that affects others, it’s our duty, as reporters, to share this information.

It is important to remember that anyone with a camera can record or capture a photo of a public event. All it takes is one person with a smartphone to report an event. 


Trusted news organizations use reliable sourcing and have credibility and the ability to correct their mistakes. 

If there are factual errors in articles (not statements that go against personal beliefs), the Northern Star and other news organizations will correct and apologize.

It is a journalist’s job to keep the public updated on current events and other newsworthy information.

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