Listen to a conversation between a student and a faculty advisor for the university newspaper.
Hi, I am sorry to bother you, but...
This is about the newspaper.
Oh, Ok. Well. I am only the advisor; the newspaper office is off campus on Pine Street.
Eh... what was it? Did you want to work for the paper? We are always looking for writers.
Well, my problem was with the writing actually, with an article that was published in yesterday's newspaper.
Oh? 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?
Eh, the statue at the main entrance of the university?
Well, that's part of it.
But you know, the editor used the situation to say some really unfair things, about the student government, and the president Sally Smith in particular.
I think the paper should publish a retraction, or the very least an apology to Sally.
Ok. Um... if I remember correctly, what you are referring to wasn't a news story, but an editorial, right?
Eh, 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 this simple comment that 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.
Wait a minute. 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.
Eh, you rarely hear about what the student government is doing.
But this article...
And the piece, well, yeah, 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 is just a cliché; everybody knows it is not true.
But I thought we could expect better than that here.
Well, I am 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 could write a response.
Really? She would let us do that?
Didn't she write it?
I'll let Jennifer know you are coming, she feels the same way I do. She is journalism major.
She would be happy to publish another point of view.