This past week has been quite a dramatic one in The Pendulum office. A source who was quoted in an article about underage drinking and the easy access of alcohol for underage patrons at a local bar got emailed by Student Conduct about her quote. The email mentioned the potential for charges based on the behavior she announced in the newspaper. As a group of journalists we were shocked that any campus would want to silence the open discussion that campus media outlets provide by penalizing a student for commenting on a problem that is prevalent in the campus community.
We ended up running an editorial on this issue on the front page of the paper. This led to a lot of feedback, some positive and negative, from the campus community and from other national media sources. This was the last edition of The Pendulum as leadership for all of the seniors involved, including myself, so it was quite an interesting feeling to leave the organization with an edition that was causing so much controversy. There were people who were happy about the discussion and the paper, people who saw it as a learning opportunity, people who wanted the girl to get in trouble and felt the school is right and people who used it as a chance to attack The Pendulum as a news organization. It even sparked the rebirth of one alternative newspaper and a response from another alternative newspaper.
Hey, at least it got open dialogue started…
Here is a post that mentions the front page on College Media Matters:
Here is a post from Jim Romenesko’s blog: