A Letter from The Flor-Ala Staff

We are The Flor-Ala, the student newspaper of the University of North Alabama.

Founded in 1931, The Flor-Ala has served as the UNA student’s voice for nearly the last century. 

As we begin a new school year, one which writes the first page of adulthood for incoming freshmen and ends a chapter of development for seniors preparing to graduate, we want to remind our readers of our purpose, values, identity and place on campus and in our community. 

Our purpose at The Flor-Ala will always be to report information that is relevant to the community we serve as accurately as possible in a timely manner. Our community is composed foremost of the students, faculty, staff and alumni of UNA. We are also proud to serve the greater Shoals community of which our campus is a part. 

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are two of the five rights protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the central document which governs our nation. The First Amendment is the foundation of journalistic practice in the US. The Flor-Ala adheres to The First Amendment as well as the guidelines put in place by the College Media Association and the Associated Press. 

Our goal is to report news in a neutral, unbiased manner that relies on proven facts and quotations from primary sources over the opinions of our writers and editors, however, in our opinion section, letters to the editor, columns and review pieces, we provide a space for students to share their views and opinions of the world around them. 

The Flor-Ala seeks to give equal opportunity to all students who wish to join our staff. Our staff members are selected on a basis of qualification and talent, with no preference to any demographic. The content published in The Flor-Ala favors no religion, race, gender, sexuality or political party over another. Discrimination and hate speech are strictly forbidden from our publication and amongst our staff and do not align with our organization’s values.

Our staff at The Flor-Ala is composed entirely of UNA students. All of our writers, editors, photographers, artists and volunteers are still in pursuit of undergraduate or graduate degrees. The Flor-Ala is a space to promote the education and professional development of these students. While we strive to meet the highest standards of  professionalism and accuracy, we are still a teaching environment, which should always be kept in mind when reading our content. 

The Flor-Ala receives funding as a registered student organization of the University of North Alabama, however, The Flor-Ala does not speak on behalf of the university or university officials, unless a direct quote featured in a story is attributed to a person holding a position at the university. Views expressed in the Flor-Ala by staff or volunteer contributors do not reflect the views of the university or student body as a whole. The Flor-Ala is not associated with UNA’s department of Media and Public Relations, and student workers are prohibited from contributing to both The Flor-Ala and university public relations simultaneously to prevent bias. 

Former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black once stated, “the press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” The American free press serves as a watch-dog of those in positions of authority. The Flor-Ala does not seek to intentionally damage the reputation of the university or anyone within the university community, our job and our responsibility to you, our readers, is to watch over operations and report the truth about what is taking place in spaces that the average student does not have access to. In the way that the commitment of the United States press is committed to the American people–not the government–our commitment is ultimately to our readers, not UNA as an institution. 

Thank you for reading The Flor-Ala. We are here to serve you. We are always open to feedback, comments and tips. Good luck to all for a safe and successful 2022-2023 school year.