This letter is regarding the article “College Republicans given a voice on liberal campus,”.
As I turned to page three of the most recent issue of the transcript this weekend, I was shocked to find what I can only imagine was an unedited blog post from a particularly uneducated freshmen given the full-page treatment, complete with the original poorly-ghosted, noticeably pixelated American flag backdrop that lacks a photo credit.
Whatever this mess was, it certainly wasn’t written by somebody who has taken even introductory journalism, or else it would read like it was written by somebody who has at least a passing familiarity with news writing.
Certainly, someone who knew what they were doing wouldn’t make the outrageous error of referring to a sitting president only by his last name on first reference.
That’s the kind of stuff that gets you accused of being racist, and rightly so, given that it mirrors language used by the Ted Nugent branch of the Tea Party.
A well-edited page would, of course, never have the controversial assertion that this campus is “liberal” serve as both lead and headline in a news piece.
It would definitely not follow up such a lead with blatant weasel-wording that wouldn’t last five minutes on Wikipedia, and it would not continue on to what reads like it came from the first chapter of “How to Write An Opinion Piece and Pretend it is News.”
Given that this would be laughed out of the news room of even an above-average high school paper, I have to ask: how did this ever make it to print?
Is the Transcript really so understaffed that nobody has fifteen minutes to review what is going to be a full page article?
I don’t believe malice went into this mistake, just poor editing and a conservative bias on the part of the author.
All the same, a subject like this really should have been treated with care, and, quite frankly, it wasn’t.
A quick straw poll in HamWill about the political leanings of our school got responses, “a little right of center”, “hilariously centrist”, “slightly left-leaning”, “pretty moderate”, and “extremely conservative” (though, to be fair, that last one came from a Jewish-atheistic-communist-hippie-feminist from the east coast).
It seems to me that opinion should stick to the opinion section; that a journalist should be checking their views at the door when they write.
This was not done last issue, and, in my opinion, the overall publication suffered for it.