Letter from the Editor: Ethics not taken lightly


by Katie Anthony

As the editor-in-chief of this newspaper, the duties are somewhat endless and there aren’t always rewards to be gained for this position.

I’ve been a staff writer for the paper since I stepped on campus my freshman year in 2008, and I thought I’d encountered everything-every mistake, every loophole, every bad decision-but today, I was proven wrong.

It was brought to my attention that a staff writer made up quotes for a faculty member on campus that were then published in the Simpsonian. While the Simpsonian staff is not perfect and we do occasionally get told that we have some facts wrong or that we misquoted a person, this is something that I’ve never encountered.

To make up quotes and then attribute them to an esteemed faculty member on the Simpson campus is deplorable, and as the student leader of this newspaper, I profusely apologize for the actions of my staff.

Furthermore, there were other faculty members that were misquoted in that article. Again, this was not only a failure on the reporter, but also the paper and on me and I am sorry.

My editorial staff and I spend roughly 20-30 hours a week on every edition that goes out to the Simpson community-on editing, fact-checking and layout.

Multiple editors check the facts of every story, but there comes a time when we have to have trust that our staff writers are upholding journalistic ethics in their interviewing and reporting-and that’s a trust that was shattered and will have to be earned once more.

I want to stress to the Simpson community that this matter is not taken lightly. Grades have been altered to reflect the severity of the situation and the staff as a whole has been reminded that we are professional journalists and they’re expected to uphold to those standards and ethics.

I apologize that my staff failed Simpson and I apologize to any and all persons that have been misquoted or misrepresented in the newspaper.

I invite you to email me with any concerns you may have about a piece that you’ve been a part of or any problems you may have with the newspaper at [email protected].

Please know that from here on out, our policies on fact checking will change and become stricter. It is my hope that we can regain your trust as readers again, and that this will no longer be an issue.

Again, I apologize deeply and hope you continue to read the Simpsonian as we rebuild trust in our reporters and our place in this community.