Righting the ship: the paper's first step



The Crimson White often holds those in our campus community to a high standard of transparency. We can – and should – do no less when it comes to our own staff.

The work of one deliberately deceitful reporter willing to risk her reputation and ours will not shake the dedication I, and everyone else in the CW newsroom, have to the product we produce for you every day. It is a terribly unfortunate ordeal, but we will do all we can to right the ship.

Like you, we were unaware that CW Staff Reporter Madison Roberts was fabricating sources in her stories this semester. Because we trusted her and delivered that information to you, we have thoroughly reviewed her work and placed our findings on the front page. Today, we have taken the first step in re-establishing our credibility and integrity. For your evaluation, we have presented Roberts’ deceptions and all the information we have concerning them.

In doing so, it is my hope that our dedication to transparency shows. We discovered Roberts’ fabrications last Wednesday afternoon during routine fact-checking, and immediately began planning this column, the review of her articles and the story that resulted. Our code of ethics and our personal relationships with you demanded nothing less.

It is hard to tell how long or to what depth this one rogue reporter’s actions will tarnish our image, our credibility and our integrity. But The Crimson White will carry on.

We still have the same high standards for reporting that we have always had.

We have also determined that an April Fool’s Day paper, a tradition of the past few years, is entirely inappropriate in light of this discovery. The April 1 paper, for the past few years, has used fabricated sources to create satire and jokes about topical campus issues.

I hope you will see these decisions for what they are – an indication of how seriously we take the issue and how much we value your trust, because should we lose that, we have nothing.

This week, the leaders of The Crimson White have hung our heads in grief because we know we have presented you with deceit disguised by a reporter as truth. We will accept your submitted columns, your phone calls, your emails, your comments and your tweets and present them back to the community. As we do that, The Crimson White will carry on.

We are, and I am, very deeply sorry.

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