Sandspur Irresponsible in Coverage of Issues?

Letter to the Editor in Response to Feb. 17’s “Child Porn Scandal in I.T.”

This letter is in response to your “Child Porn Scandal in IT” article published in volume 117, Issue 18 of your newspaper. I would first like to express how disappointed I am in The Sandspur’s handling of this situation. There is a line in respectable journalism, and you have crossed it. The facts are not in, nor is there any worth to this article other than the shock value.

I find it disheartening that a student-driven newspaper would attack a fellow student before all of the facts have been clarified. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

I understand that the student body has a right to know, but there is nothing to know until the case has been closed. Then, and only then, does it become appropriate for The Sandspur to report. As the director of Campus Security stated in your article, we must respect students’ privacy.

By publishing this outlandish, disrespectful and uncalled for piece of student “journalism,” you are merely adding fuel to an unnecessary fire. This is affecting more than just the students involved in this case. As a student journalist, you must take into account the ramifications of your articles.

As Rollins’ mission statement strives to teach, we must act as global citizens, not self-centered journalists looking for a fast and easy headline. You must hold yourselves to a higher standard! I hope you consider this constructive criticism when choosing future articles. If not, The Sandspur does not deserve to be published.

Sincerely,

J.D.Casto, A Concerned Reader

Quashing the Rumor

Thank you, J.D., for your response. As always, we at The Sandspur welcome feedback and criticism and will do our best to account for and address it.

I am also aware that there are others who share your concerns about the “Child Porn Scandal in I.T.” article, yours not being the only Letter to the Editor we received.

That said, I find myself in some disagreement with claims you make regarding the content of the article in question, and I’ll do my best to assuage any concerns people might have and to explain why we stand by our choice to publish the article.

During investigation, our reporter received information from various sources about the goings-on pertaining to the students in question, but we printed only that which we received from official sources, such as Director of Campus Security Ken Miller. As a newspaper, we are not here to pass judgment or provide conjecture or bias in news articles, but rather simply to inform the student body of reliable information.

Similarly, it is not up to us to determined guilt or innocence. We very explicitly chose to never identify the student in question at this juncture, as his identity could not be provided or confirmed by official sources and the investigation was at the time ongoing.

What we did do was provide the information that could be confirmed officially. Students on their own were already hearing of the scandal and passing along information, and The Sandspur’s role as a newspaper is to attempt to provide the truth as one of the only outlets on campus able to confirm or dispute rumors. Our goal was neither shock nor deceit, and the majority of feedback we have received has indicated that readers found it informational and to be something about which they want to be updated; I believe that it is information to which the Rollins community deserves to be privy.

I hope that reiterating that all information we published was received from official sources and none of it was fabricated or based solely on rumor helps put to rest accusations that the article was full of inaccuracies caused by The Sandspur, as other letter we received claimed.

I similarly would like to assure all concerned parties that any personal grudge on my behalf towards the Information Technology worker in question is nonexistent, as I personally do not even know his identity.

Going forward, The Sandspur will publish a follow-up as the information becomes available through official sources, and, as with this past article, the department of I.T. and all other involved parties will have the opportunity and encouragement to provide a quote or interview to help us shed light on the situation for students.

Thank you again for your letter, and all the best.

Sincerely,

Nick Zazulia

 

Like this Article? Share it!

Leave A Response