Letter to the editor – Katie Patterson
Dear Review Editorial Board,
To start, I would like to personally thank the student’s who voted for me, as the student body clearly showed who they thought should be elected Vice President. I would also like to congratulate Colin Jones for his victory as well as the runner-up candidates, Sarah Spranger and Shelby Simmons. Although they were not elected, they did a great job of campaigning and debating. I am confident they would have done a great job if elected.
The way the Linfield Review approached the elections was inappropriate and borderline unprofessional in my opinion. I think the newspaper should be used as a tool for students to become informed about the elections, not as a platform for the paper to express their personal opinion. It would be acceptable to publish a personal letter to the editor taking your stance, but to take a stance as an entire staff for a particular candidate is inappropriate. It was clear to me that you did not practice truly getting to know your candidate. Instead, the motives and character of the candidate were questioned, simply because they did not contact the paper. It cannot be assumed that the candidate is failing to reach potential voters simply because they were unable to provide to you all of the information you wanted, when you wanted it.
Reporting on an election at this school needs to be approached more objectively as it can cause misrepresentations of candidates and the “facts” that are published are not always true. Although it can be a valuable source for information, it’s not the only source. In this case it proved to be irrelevant in the grand scheme of votes for Vice President. It opens up the opportunity for people who really do not know much about the elections to read a biased view on the candidates, when the paper itself preaches that it is really getting to know the candidates. My ability to go out and personally interact with my peers proved to be the key to winning this election and I think is the best way to approach communicating with potential voters. Future candidates should not have to deal with this sort of scrutiny, with intent to skew the opinions of readers, due to the bias of the staff members. I hope that you will reconsider the way you approach the elections because I think the Review can be a great place for students to be informed through non-biased, objective reporting.
ASLC vice president-elect
First, I appreciate the letter. It shows interest in the paper, and readership is an excellent symbol of any newspaper. However, I feel you have a misunderstanding of what an editorial is.
It is not news. It is not put in the News section. It is an opinion. It is put in the Opinion section. The Review’s editorial, as every other newspaper’s editorial, represents a majority opinion of the board that creates it. The Review Editorial Board reached a consensus on which candidate to endorse. While I sympathize, I, as editor-in-chief of the Review and a member of the editorial board, will not apologize for the board’s decision. It was an informed decision based on two weeks’ worth of information collected (or not collected in certain situations). To say we “assumed” infers that we simply didn’t try to contact you. Both myself and the managing editor tried contacting you for the duration of two weeks for interviews for the newspaper. We didn’t assume you weren’t reaching voters; we simply asked how could you when the Review couldn’t even reach you. Obviously, enough students voted for you, but I feel that was an appropriate question to ask. Having worked for the newspaper since freshman year, I can’t remember a time when an ASLC candidate didn’t write a letter or talk to us in person.
As for our news stories, if you can tell me how our reporting of the elections in both mine and Ms. Hungerford’s news stories was biased, I would love to hear you out so we can print a retraction. However, I would like to point out that when you did respond to Ms. Hungerford on Thursday, via e-mail, we included that in the paper. All I wrote was that the Review was unable to reach you, which was true.
You are more than welcome to your opinion about what the editorial did for your campaign or how you feel about it. However, would you not agree that the Review has the right to its own opinion? I hope so. A lack of understanding First Amendment rights would be a serious flaw in anyone aspiring to work for any type of government.
As for scrutiny, I’m sorry to say, but you’re a public official now. By federal law, you’re subject to scrutiny by everyone. If you cannot handle a simple editorial, it’s going to be a long year for you. And while I won’t be working for the newspaper myself next year (as I’m graduating), I hope the Review will continue to critically analyze those applying for office. For the last 200-plus years, newspapers have stood as the check against government, and as long as I am editor, I will continue to keep the ASLC government in balance to the best of my ability. And I have no doubt that future editors will do the same.
I hope this helps clear things up. The Review works hard to maintain an excellent working relationship with ASLC. I would be disappointed to see all the hard work by previous administrations and editors-in-chief to go to waste.
The Linfield Review – Editor-in-chief