By Kyle Kondik
October 26, 2005
For all of the good that newspapers and media attempt to do, there are unfortunately times when, for any number of reasons, they screw up. The Post had one of those moments last week, and it deserves more than the standard clarification or correction.
A story and an editorial regarding the university’s new Community Assistant program
(respectively, last Tuesday’s ‘Off-campus living program criticized” and Thursday’s
“Community who?”) were based on faulty information and were therefore misleading. While the opinions expressed by students quoted in the story are legitimate in the sense that they are their personal views, they not only all live in the same house on Mill Street but also in an area that is not currently covered by one of the university’s 15 CAs.
So, their criticisms of the program were not necessarily based on the fact that a CA had neglected them or that the program wasn’t working – there simply isn’t anyone to cover their particular house, a fact that isn’t in the story. Also, it is important in any news piece to give differing viewpoints, or at least diverse ones. Interviewing three people from the same house, regardless of where it is placed, doesn’t really qualify as diverse.
Further, editorials are primarily based on our own reporting, so it was not an uncommon practice to comment based on the story we reported, – not knowing its flaws at the time of the editorial decision. It also said that the CA program was designed in response to student unrest earlier this fall, but in reality the program had been set in motion last fall.
For those reasons, our news article and our editorial were deeply flawed.
I apologize on behalf of The Post for these mistakes. We can do and have done better.
Kyle Kondik, a senior journalism major, is Editor of The Post. Send him an email at [now likely defunct address].