Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Northwestern Today

As a final note before I turn back to some real work, the Northwestern reported today that this $90 million reduction approved by the JFC was an increase in funding.

Also, they published the letter to the editor by Jonathan Gutow.

They are obviously stringing out the letters--I suppose they are trying to blunt the loud, angry outcry by the faculty here. It strikes me as dishonest not to publish the letters when they are recieved or to put a date on them.

I hadn't thought about this game being played by editorial staff--they can really pretend that the resounding negative sentiment created by their lame editorials never occurred.

If you didn't know how many letters were sent, you would have no idea about the university community's response. It is once again clear that having alternative media outlets is essential for true public debate. Mine is a pathetic little blog, but keeping track of letters written and published has given me more insight into the current failures, about which others have been writing for years.

1 comment:

tony palmeri said...

In its reporting and editorializing about the UW, the Oshkosh Northwestern has managed to violate many of Gannett's Principles of Ethical Conduct for Newsrooms. The principles are:

Seeking and reporting the truth in a truthful way

* We will dedicate ourselves to reporting the news accurately, thoroughly and in context.
* We will be honest in the way we gather, report and present news.
* We will be persistent in the pursuit of the whole story.
* We will keep our word.
* We will hold factual information in opinion columns and editorials to the same standards of accuracy as news stories.
* We will seek to gain sufficient understanding of the communities, individuals and stories we cover to provide an informed account of activities.

Serving the public interest

* We will uphold First Amendment principles to serve the democratic process.
* We will be vigilant watchdogs of government and institutions that affect the public.
* We will provide the news and information that people need to function as effective citizens.
* We will seek solutions as well as expose problems and wrongdoing.
* We will provide a public forum for diverse people and views.
* We will reflect and encourage understanding of the diverse segments of our community.
* We will provide editorial and community leadership.
* We will seek to promote understanding of complex issues.

Exercising fair play

* We will treat people with dignity, respect and compassion.
* We will correct errors promptly.
* We will strive to include all sides relevant to a story and not take sides in news coverage.
* We will explain to readers our journalistic processes.
* We will give particular attention to fairness in relations with people unaccustomed to dealing with the press.
* We will use unnamed sources as the sole basis for published information only as a last resort and under specific procedures that best serve the public’s right to know.
* We will be accessible to readers.

Maintaining independence

* We will remain free of outside interests, investments or business relationships that may compromise the credibility of our news report.
* We will maintain an impartial, arm’s length relationship with anyone seeking to influence the news.
* We will avoid potential conflicts of interest and eliminate inappropriate influence on content.
* We will be free of improper obligations to news sources, newsmakers and advertisers.
* We will differentiate advertising from news.

Acting with integrity

* We will act honorably and ethically in dealing with news sources, the public and our colleagues.
* We will obey the law.
* We will observe common standards of decency.
* We will take responsibility for our decisions and consider the possible consequences of our actions.
* We will be conscientious in observing these Principles.
* We will always try to do the right thing.

You can find the list online here: