Tag Archives: Editorial Board

WikiLeaks reveals need for journalism ethics

The ensuing chaos surrounding the more than 250,000 diplomatic cables leased by whistleblower website WikiLeaks has grabbed the attention of headlines and people the world over for some weeks now.

Between radical conservatives labeling WikiLeaks editor-in-chief and spokesperson Julian Assange a terrorist and calling for his assassination and Internet “hacktivists” engaging in distributed denial-of-service attacks on the websites of organizations deemed hostile to WikiLeaks for severing ties with the organization (such as Mastercard), the tension is certainly rising.

According to Fox news, on Dec. 7 Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who is also chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News that The New York Times should be investigated for its role in publishing the leaked cables.

“To me, The New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship, but whether they have committed a crime — I think that bears a very intense inquiry by the Justice Department,” he said.

As journalists, we at the Review think it is important to examine the role of newspapers in handling sensitive and potentially damaging information.

The proper course of action depends on the situation. Sometimes it is best to publish sensitive information, especially if it is vital for public knowledge on important issues. At other times, it is best to withhold information, such as when it presents a clear threat to an individual’s safety.

Whichever route a newspaper chooses, however, it is still important to look at, investigate and analyze the information before coming to such a decision. We have a responsibility as a public resource for truth and analysis, and we must offer as much of it as possible when we have the opportunity to safely and accurately do so.

We believe The New York Times was correct in publishing the leaked cables not only because they would have been published everywhere anyway but also because the information is important for the public to know.

Chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times David Sanger was quoted on Dec. 8 in a story on National Public Radio defending the Times’ decision:

“This was never an easy decision to publish national security information,” he said. “I think at the end of this process, what we did was responsible, it was legal, and it was important for a democratic society.”

The Times did what it thought was in the public interest and can effectively defend its actions.

Journalists come across difficult and ethical decisions such as this on multiple occasions. These decisions must always be handled delicately and shouldn’t be rushed.

“It is the responsibility of American journalism, back to the founding of this country, to get out and try to grapple with the hardest issues of the day and to do it independently of the government,” Sanger also told NPR.

Whether it’s leaked international cables or personal, potentially harmful information about a professor or a student at Linfield, responsible journalism always reminds us to handle sensitive information with care. And no matter what decision is reached, journalists must always be ready and able to defend their decision.

-The Review Editorial Board

Students deserve quiet study spaces

It may be hard to believe, but Fall Semester is already coming to a close. Many students are busy preparing for final exams and finishing up last-minute projects and papers. As we all know, it can be quite a chaotic time of year.
To get ready for finals and finish homework assignments in general, many students head to the computer labs inside Renshaw Hall. However, the labs are not always the quietest places to get work done.
We at the Review have noticed that too many students use the Renshaw computer labs not as a place to study and complete assignments but as a place to catch up and chat with friends. While being social is important at a residential college, the Renshaw computers labs are not always the best place for socializing.
A number of students go to these computer labs because they have tasks they need to complete, and it is extremely distracting when you hear a group of students next to you loudly talking about who’s dating whom or how exciting the football game on TV was. It’s simply annoying and disrespectful to others.
Maybe a designated person could be present in the Renshaw computer labs to monitor what takes place there. In the library, there are several staff members who you can approach if other students around you are too loud. Approaching an authority figure about an issue is far less awkward than confronting a group of noisy peers.
But, we also know that this is not the most practical solution. Therefore, students need to be respectful and realize how much their chit-chat hinders the studying of others.
We ask that when you are in the Renshaw computer labs (or in the library), be mindful of other students who are working around you. As previously mentioned, it is the time of the year when students are preparing for finals. This makes it especially important for quiet places to be available to students for studying on campus.

-The Review Editorial Board

Start off your school year sustainably

With the new school year starting up, students are being faced with new responsibilities. As we are all learning to adapt to new school schedules, that will inevitably take up most of our time, it is easy to fall into the habit of forgetting to do the little things throughout the day that help make campus “greener” and more sustainable.
We know, as college students, we already have a lot to think about and focus on each and every day, but if you can just remember a few tips on how to be more environmentally conscious, the campus as a whole can greatly benefit.
Sophmore Katherine Takaoka, a member of the Greenfield club on campus, said that one of the main things students can do is be conscious about how long of a shower he or she takes. We know it can be relaxing to take a long shower, especially after a work out or a game, but cutting back can make a difference all across campus by reducing the water usage.
Secondly, a lot of energy can be saved if students unplug electronics in their rooms when they leave. It may seem like a bit of an inconvenience at first, but if students make a habit of unplugging laptops, phones and lamps, we can reduce the school’s energy consumption.
Thirdly, recycling plays a big role in having a green campus. It’s easy to simply throw away a pop can or water bottle in your residence hall or apartment, but if students look around campus, they will see several buildings and locations that have labeled recycling bins.
Last but not least, consider reading an article for a class online rather than printing it. A ton of paper gets wasted in Nicholson Library and in Renshaw Hall, and reading online can help cut back on that issue.
We would like to challenge students to keep these tips in mind when they carry out their daily routines.
Overall, keep in mind that small actions by students can warrant big changes for the environment that surrounds us.

-The Review Editorial Board