Letter from the Editor: The Mass Media is UMass Boston’s independent student newspaper

Katrina Sanville, Editor-in-Chief

Over the past six months, it has come to the attention of myself and several other members of staff that The Mass Media has been continuously referred to as UMass Boston’s “newsletter,” rather than a newspaper. 

While we could consider one time a simple mistake, this has been a continuous effort made by those in positions of power at the university. Most prevalently, I recall a presenter at orientation telling incoming students that we were UMass Boston’s newsletter, coupled with the fact our funding comes from a waivable fee. 

Merriam-Webster defines a newsletter as “a small publication,” such as a leaflet or newspaper, “containing news of interest chiefly to a special group,” (1) while a newspaper is defined as “a paper that is printed and distributed usually daily or weekly and that contains news, articles of opinion, features, and advertising.” (2)  

The Mass Media is a weekly publication dedicated to highlighting the voices of students and sharing UMass Boston news, arts, opinions, sports and humor from the perspective of these students. Since UMass Boston does not offer a journalism program, The Mass Media is often the closest students can get to participating in journalistic settings on a regular basis. Referring to The Mass Media as a newsletter diminishes the hard work and effort that the writers, photographers and copy editors put into publishing a piece of quality journalism on a weekly basis. 

This is misinformation, and it can—in the long term—negatively impact us as a community. The Mass Media strives to promote high quality student journalism for those in the UMass Boston community, and referring to us as anything other than an independent student newspaper misrepresents us wholeheartedly. 

For those who may have any further concerns or questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email at [email protected]. For those who may have misspoken in the past or may have any issues with us that result in negative emotions, come talk to us. We are always open to suggestions and hearing the opinions of the UMass Boston community—but we are not accepting of our rights as student journalists being infringed upon. 

Sincerely yours, 

Katrina Sanville (she/her) and Skylar Bowman (she/her) 

Editor in Chief and Managing Editor of the Mass Media 

1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/newsletter 

2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/newspaper