Listen to a conversation between a student and the faculty adviser for the university newspaper.
Hi... I'm sorry to bother you, but...
This is about the newspaper...
Oh, OK. Well, I'm only the adviser-uh, the newspaper office is off campus, on Pine Street.
Uh, what was it?
Did you want to work for the paper?
We're always looking for writers.
Well, my problem was with the writing, actually.
With an article that was published in yesterday's newspaper.
Oh? Uh, which one?
The one about the student government and its president, Sally Smith.
Is this something to do with what the editor wrote about the statue?
Uh, the statue at the main entrance of the university?
Well, that's part of it.
But, you know, the editor used this situation to say some really unfair things... a-about the student government and the president, Sally Smith, in particular.
I think the paper should publish a retraction- or at the very least an apology to Sally.
OK, um... if I remember correctly, what you're referring to wasn't a news story, but an editorial, right?
It was on the opinion page?
It was signed by one of the editors and was clearly labeled as commentary...
Well, yes, but the thing about the statue- Sally made the simple comment that it was in really bad condition and should be replaced, and, well, the tone in the editorial was demeaning.
It accused her of not respecting the past.
And it had some personal stuff that seemed unnecessary.
Uh, wait a minute... uh, remind me.
Well, you know, it implied that Sally doesn't know much about the university's history, and it called her a "big-city politician," because she's from Boston- it's just mean-spirited, isn't it?
Haven't you heard the saying "All publicity is good publicity"?
I'd say the article is bringing attention to the student government organization, which is pretty invisible.
Uh, you rarely hear about what student government is doing.
But, this article...
And the piece, well, it had a bit of an exaggerated tone.
It was satirical, or at least it was meant to be.
It wasn't only poking fun at Sally but the whole idea that our school is sort of rural, and, you know, not cosmopolitan.
Well, none of us thought it was very funny.
Well, sometimes it's best just to roll with it.
It's just a cliche.
Everybody knows it's not true.
But I thought we could expect better than that here.
Well, I'm certainly in favor of getting a variety of viewpoints.
So why don't you go talk to the editor-Jennifer Hamilton- and tell her you want equal time.
You or Sally can write a response.
Really? She'd let us do that?... didn't she write it?
I'll let Jennifer know you're coming; she feels the same way I do- she's a journalism major.
She'd be happy to publish another point of view.