The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

When Freedom Meets Responsibility

Posted by iusbvision on November 21, 2006

In light of issues raised with policies of writing and of journalism in campus publications, the IUSB Vision is extending an invitation to the IUSB Preface, to work together to create a Campus Charter of News Publications. The Vision also invites the advice of the Journalism program at the Raclin School of the Arts. This charter will be a cooperative effort at determining what we should write and the balance between freedom of speech, and responsibilities of publishing.

The start of this debate was news of an alleged rape on campus. This was reported both on campus as well as in a off-campus publication. Here are the facts that merited coverage: The identities of the parties involved were not released, the suspect is known by the authorities but is not in custody, the campus investigation is complete, but no formal charges have been filed. Neither the accused nor the accuser has made comments to the press, the case has been known for a month but no crime alert has been released. It was decided – and not disputed – that there is no risk to anyone else on campus. Finally, there has been news that rumors have been floating around campus.

In a conversation with the IUSB Vision, the Director of IUSB Safety and Security said, “In this case, for reasons I can’t really go into, I do not feel that anyone on campus was at risk. Consequently no crime alert was issued because given the nature of the case, the situation, no one else is at risk.”

In light of this, the IUSB Vision intends to not focus its attention to the unidentified, the un-filed, and the unknown.  Of the utmost importance should be respecting the privacy of those involved. Instead, this publication will focus on a wider issue – a discussion raising the issue of the breach the privacy of the two involved parties. At this point comes a legitimate question: if the identities of the parties were not disclosed, would privacy be an issue? Basically, the answer comes to the inflammation of the very rumors mentioned in the news article – rumors that could affect not only the actual parties involved, but any student to whom the rumor could apply.

Two high-ranking members of the Vision had known about the case for the past month. While not instructed by the authorities to keep the case private, it would have violated the right to privacy of the involved parties. The editorial leadership of the Vision strongly supports the decision of these members not to break this story.

This is a time for campus publications, and campus readers to look closely in the mirror to see whether certain information should be released if it takes away the rights of individuals, while having no real facts to present. At the same time, what this publication does not want to do is make this another polarized debate. We are inspired by Vice Chancellor Dr Ilene Sheffer whose own mission is to “inherit something that isn’t perfect, with the true desire to make it better by the time you leave.” (Women in Prominent Positions, page 4) The Vision does not imagine itself to be perfect – Page 5 will acknowledge one of our own errors. It is our hope that as a whole, campus publications will move forward together as well, in this only time will tell.

The Editorial Board of the Vision

51 Responses to “When Freedom Meets Responsibility”

  1. Ryan said

    Wait, so are you implying that it was improper of the Preface to write this article? I’m sorry, but I don’t buy the ‘no one is at risk’ excuse. When something like this happens people need to be aware. It reminds them to be careful and raises awareness of concerns. I can understand privacy concerns, but no names were mentioned. It is completly valid for the student body to be warned and reminded of the dangers in society, particularly when they are found on campus.

  2. Erkki KochKetola said

    As I understand it, the fact of the crime having been reported is a matter of public record. The Security Office saw no privacy violation in confirming that the report had been filed; I would imagine that if Martin Gersey, Director of Safety and Security, had reason to believe that the Preface was in possession of information that it ought not have had, he would have done something about it. I, too, was informed when I inquired at the Office of Saftey and Security regarding this matter that a sexual assault (essentially a euphemism for “rape”) had been reported, that it was currently being investigated, and that no further comment could be made because of the very same privacy concerns which the Editors of the Vision cite in their criticism of the Preface. Indeed, the South Bend Tribune was the first news outlet to cover this event (“Police investigate two sexual assault cases”, South Bend Tribune, Nov. 11 2006). Where is the Vision’s criticism of the South Bend Tribune for “breach[ing] the privacy of the two involved parties?”

    I can also shed some light on one possible source of these rumors. Wiekamp Hall is roughly horseshoe-shaped, and at the ends of the two hallways that jut out from the rest of the building, there are sets of doors leading to a courtyard. On the sidewalks in front of these doors, someone had written that there had been a rape on campus (more precisely, at the north door, the chalk read “Did you know there was a rape on campus?” and the chalk at the south door read “Did you know there was a rape here?”). I was, in turn, made aware of the existence of these writings by a friend who happened to have previously passed by and seen them.

    I’m sure much of the campus was already aware of the fact that it had occurred. The Preface was, therefore, not exposing anything that was not already well-known. So much for privacy.

  3. Rachel Custer said

    I agree with both Ryan and Erkki regarding reporting the alleged rape on campus. It is necessary that students know as much as possible while still attempting to protect the privacy of the students involved so that other women on campus can be vigilant and take extra measures to protect themselves.

  4. Erkki KochKetola said

    I find it very curious, Rachel, that you feel it necessary to qualify your call for reporting on this issue “while still attempting to protect the privacy of the students involved.” At no point has anyone’s privacy ever been violated. Why is it necessary to continue to emphasize protecting privacy when there’s never been any threat?

  5. Rachel Custer said

    Erkki,

    Ok, I’m starting to think you just like to argue…I AGREED with you and Andrew. I wasn’t qualifying my call for reporting on this issue, I was simply stating that I do feel everyone’s identity should be protected in a case like this, in ALL media. I wasn’t saying that the Preface failed to protect anyone’s identity; in fact, I never mentioned the Preface. In no way did my comment have ANYTHING to do with the Preface. My goal in making the statement was to agree with the previous comments that reporting an issue such as this is important on a college campus to ensure the safety of other women. I added the protection of privacy statement because I also feel that is important – it wasn’t meant as an accusation.

    Everything doesn’t have to be incendiary, Erkki, and the comment I made certainly wasn’t intended to be. I was trying to express an opinion much like that expressed by you and Andrew above.

  6. Tom said

    Erkki

    Rachel isn’t saying or implying that privacy ever was a concern, she was just including in her statement the point at which she believed journalistic integrity would have been a question

  7. Erkki KochKetola said

    While I do like to argue, my point was to bring to the fore my concern that continued emphasis on privacy is being used as a means of altering the terrain of this conversation such that anyone not continuing to harp about privacy rights gets accused of not being concerned about anyone’s privacy. Rachel’s agreement did not need to be qualified, if she truly agreed with what Ryan (not Andrew) and I said. Once again, at no point have anyone’s privacy rights been alleged to have been violated except by the Editors of the IUSB Vision in this editorial. Continued emphasis on privacy concerns are in my opinion suspect for the reason I cite above.

    So, in fact, Rachel was clearly stating that it was (and is) a concern, and I will continue to point out as long as she does so that it is a non-issue, a red herring, or worse. I’ve not accused anyone of making incendiary remarks. I’m just calling attention to a deficiency in the way this is being talked about.

  8. Andrew said

    Rachel;

    When did you agree with me? I haven’t said anything here yet :)

  9. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    My bad… lol, I meant Ryan.

    Erkki,

    Did you even read my post? I meant absolutely nothing about the Preface by the inclusion of that small phrase that seems to be troubling you so much. The intent of my post was truly only to agree that, in my opinion, it was appropriate and necessary for any and all campus publications to report on the alleged sexual assault on campus. I believe the safety of students should take precedence over any other concerns. I was not attempting to qualify that comment – I feel the Preface was perfectly justified in printing the article they printed – believe it or not, there are those of us on the Vision whose opinions differ from one another sometimes. I do feel it is important for all media to protect the privacy of those who undergo such attacks, but I will repeat what I said in my previous post: I don’t believe that is a problem or an issue in this situation. Do you even read my posts in an attempt to understand what I am trying to say, or do you read them in an attempt to nitpick at the exact language I use and disagree with me no matter what my underlying point is?

    That is my opinion, and it seems to be the same as your opinion. I really don’t know what the argument is here.

  10. Andrew Filmer said

    I was about to defend at length the Vision’s editorial, but I see that it needs no help, when two of its detractors – who know less about the case than they imagine – are already pecking amongst themselves.

    However, I would like to add that any quick critic should bring both articles on the issue to IUSB Security and ask them to contact the individuals involved and ask them which one breached their privacy. If you get an answer, I think you will be most surprised by it.

    Ryan – we have agreed on previous issues and I hope we can cordially disagree here. If there is indeed risk to others, and that is the foundation of any publication of this issue, then that publication should confidently refute the assurances of IUSB Security with proof, or think twice about publishing.

    This reply is all I have to say on the matter.

  11. Jed Walls said

    You all should ask the journalism instructors at IUSB if covering a rape is the job of a journalist.

  12. Craig Chamberlin said

    Jed,

    I think all the journalist instructures are tied up wondering why the Preface doesn’t want anything to do with the journalism department. Or is it the other way around… ? Hmm…

  13. Sam said

    “You all should ask the journalism instructors at IUSB if covering a rape is the job of a journalist.”

    What are you saying. Are professional journalists in a position to cover rape stories and, if so, are they expected to do so according to their employer?

    Bear in mind that I am simply curious. Not a journalist myself.

    Apologies to both sides regarding my ignorance of journalism as a profession.

    I am oblivious concerning an apparent confidentiality breach in this case.

    Also what is the basis for this apparent bad blood between the Preface and the Vision at IUSB? I visited the Preface site earlier tonight and could not find a single comment related to any of this this. What did you mean by “asses being handed” to someone?

    Sam

  14. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    Ok, I will try to say this as diplomatically as I can. Jed has no love for Jarrod Brigham (our editor), or the Vision. He was the editor of the Preface last year, and we (as in conservative IUSB students) were frustrated because 1. we had no representation in the Preface; 2. we felt the Preface was basically printing things that did nothing to further IUSB’s reputation, and even possibly sullied it; and 3. the Preface rarely printed much news about specific clubs or events on the campus. So Jarrod, Craig and I and several others began another campus publication, the Vision. Our intent was to stick mostly with campus clubs and other campus events, as well as provide a forum for the opinions of conservative students (as well as others who wish to write for us) to actually have space to air our viewpoints. Jed, quite frankly, is angry the Vision still exists and has done as well as it has, in my opinion. For all his talk about journalistic integrity, he pretty much blackballed any students whose opinions didn’t agree with his from a place in the Preface. So we started our own newsletter.

    Kinda got long, but that’s it in a nutshell. Now, the Preface has reported certain aspects of an alleged assault, the Vision wrote the editorial (posted on the blog) “When Freedom Meets Responsibility,” the Preface editors got mad and wrote an editorial slamming us. And that’s where Jed comes into the picture. So now you’re caught up! :)

  15. Andrew Filmer said

    Sam,

    As a new member to this publication, I would like to add that I am definately not a conservative. I am not a liberal either, by my understanding of what constitutes these terms in this country. I honestly do not believe that the Vision is conservative by nature as a publication , and for that discussion I highly recommend reading Craig’s previous editorial:

    https://iusbvision.wordpress.com/2006/10/09/addressing-recent-issues-with-the-iusb-vision/

    Also: the reason why you couldn’t find it on the Preface’s website is simply because they haven’t updated it to match their current print edition.

    As for the… posterior metaphor, well, when name-calling comes a’ callin’, you know the name caller has hit a new low.

  16. Erkki KochKetola said

    The reason that “liberals” aren’t willing to write for the Vision are a perception of closed-mindedness on the part of the rest of the Vision staff. Ryan was the only one to take them up on their offer, and Ryan is definitely not a flaming liberal; he’s right-of-center.

    The Vision was created after Jarrod and Craig left the Preface over Kinsey Confidential. Their claims that the “conservative viewpoint” was not “well-represented” nothwithstanding, Chuck got lots of space and only rarely was a “balancing” viewpoint available (this being a late innovation of Jed’s). The rest of the content of the Preface was primarily fluff (as, indeed, it remains).

    So, yes, the Vision is definitely conservative by nature. It was founded by conservative Christians, features a moderately-conservative Democrat as its sole “balancing” viewpoint, and consitently features Chuck’s column. Did you see their Veteran’s Day issue? Nothing about anyone who had any reservations about their service – I know there have to be some around here. This pretty much demonstrates what they’re all about.

  17. Jason said

    Hrm, has Jeds’ letter to the Edtior been deleted? I can’t seem to find it…..

    It makes it hard to write a response if it’s been deleted. :)

  18. Sam said

    “So, yes, the Vision is definitely conservative by nature.”

    It amazes me that anyone in his or her right mind would dispute that. Andrew Filmer’s reply reminded me of what it would sound like if Bill O’Reilly were to claim that Fox News wasn’t conservative (not that Filmer is conservative himself).

    The abortion thread alone, the disagreement within which is based entirely on the conservative Christian viewpoint regardless of what anyone says, goes far enough to demonstrate this. I remain perplexed by Craig’s lasting desire to cast atheism as a religion itself, as though the distinction were somehow meaningful.

    Rachel – thanks for your clarification.

  19. Ryan said

    Haha, apparently you have a mental block about agreeing with me, Rachel. ; )

    Anyways, I find it interesitng Errki thinks i’m right of center. I’m right of you, but then again Lenin would have been right of you.

    Regardless, I’m certianly fine with disagreeing Sam. But the campus took security actions following this incident, as cited in the Preface. Obviously they thought there was a further risk. So raising awareness is an obligation of any journalistic publication with integrity.

  20. Rachel Custer said

    Ryan,

    LOL. Yes, I was wondering about Errki’s comment as well. You and I often disagree, but I have a lot of respect for you as you seem to be the only person that is secure enough with your beliefs and yourself that you will write for us!

    Erkki,

    We are not close-minded to the people on our staff, in my opinion. Yes, we have strong opinions which show up on the weblog (as they should, yours do), but I feel, it takes a certain amount of self-esteem and security to publish in a publication where the majority of people disagree with you (several of our writers understand from the time they worked on the Preface). It does take guts to be a dissenter, but it’s an important part of our nation, our school, and our publication that dissenters are free to state their opinion.

    We don’t censor articles. Is it really that scary for someone to write an article with their own opinion if that opinion disagrees with the majority? If so, I would say that person is not very secure in their ability to defend their opinion.

  21. Jason said

    Just a clarification Rachel….. I’m not the greatest at mathematical equations, but lets see if I’m reading this logical equation correctly.

    Ryan=liberal
    Ryan=dissenter on your publication
    dissent=opposition

    therefore if Ryan which = liberal is not = to your publication, then one must conclude IUSB Vision = conservative?

    We did not “slam” your publication as if appears you beleive, we were merely informing our readers of facts regarding your publication that we felt should be evaluated when you are giving journalistic advice. Students are encouraged to do this all the time when writing research papers. One must evaluate a source to determine its credibility, and that was what I was simply doing.

    If you were referring the post by Jed Walls, let me remind you that Jed does not work with the Preface any longer. What Jed says is exactly that. Jed’s thoughts. Do not cofuse the two. I do find it alarming that you have deleted the letter to the editor regarding our editorial, while stating that you will not censor directly in your post. What gives?

    If you would like to have a discussion about the editorial, I would be more than happy to. I typed up an entire 2 page response to the posts upon Jed’s Letter, but I feel that my response would fall upon deaf ears. Let’s not distort this issue and pervert it into a “preface versus vision” fight.

    Believe it or not, we have no great bias against you and your staff. I have had a conversation with several members of your staff and on all occasions have enjoyed the discussions greatly.

    Personally I feel that my staff, and the staff of the vision need to sit down in a meeting face to face to discuss our differences, our concerns and how we can help each other. I know there is a lot of dislike for the Preface in your camp, to which I will not dispute. I do feel however that we owe it to the student body to not take this blood feud you have with the staff of last year’s preface out on them. This is not the first time I have made such an invitation. I have repeatedly expressed to Jarrod, Chuck, and Andrew that we need to meet to put this silly dispute aside.

    I sincerely think that with cooperation we can benefit the campus instead of polarizing it. I truly hope you take me up on the offer this time.

  22. Andrew said

    Jason, I don’t think they deleted Jed’s letter to the editor. I think you’re talking about the one here (https://iusbvision.wordpress.com/2006/09/25/submit-general-letters-to-the-editor-volume-2-issue-3/#comments), correct?

  23. Jason said

    Haha – yeah thats the one……Seems I just was unable to locate it. I apologize for my ill-informed and incorrect assumption. The rest of my post I do stand by however.

  24. Rachel Custer said

    Jason,

    I have acknowledged that several members of our staff are conservative Christians on this blog several times. I have no problem with acknowledging this.

    It may surprise you to know that I haven’t really experienced a hatred for the Preface among the Vision staff, and certainly not a “blood feud.” I do understand your point that Jed is no longer associated with the Preface, and I acknowledge that you have done a good job working with a difficult situation; even though I don’t always agree with some things in the Preface, I think it is a much better all-around publication than it was last year.

    Of course, part of the problem I have with the Preface is that a lot of the improvements that have been made have been taken straight from the pages of the Vision. I think it’s important that people also know the facts regarding that when considering the Preface as a reliable source of information regarding journalistic integrity.

    I have already said on this blog that I have mixed feelings about whether or not the article should have been printed; I can see both points of view. BUT, if it was going to be printed, it needed to be printed with full and correct facts. That is the problem I have with the article.

    I have no desire to “fight” with the Preface, and would be for a sit-down. Actually, I believe we published something regarding the Preface and the Vision working together recently. If we had a meeting to discuss issues regarding campus publications, I’d be there…I think it could be a good idea.

  25. Jason said

    yay! Good to hear Rachel. I did read that in your publication and expressed to Jarrod when I saw him that I would definately be interested in it. I apologize if it seems that we have taken ideas from you, but honestly, I had no intent in doing so, and if there is overlap it is merely coincidental, and well basically…without communication we may end up running similar articles. Like I posted on that other thread, I can address that further if you provide specific

    I’m glad to hear you have no desire to fight, as I would like to settle this “dispute” or whatever you want to call it. I think by ignoring it we will be only allowing it to grow, and next year’s editors will be thrown in a situation which they were not even invovled in but will continue to develop. Lets try and work things out.

  26. Terrie Phillips said

    Craig Chamberline,

    Who said the Preface has nothing to do with the journalism department. I, an editor on the paper, have asked my jouranlims professors questions regarding issues all the time. Not to mention our advisor, which is at every meeting and reads every paper to ensure its quality, works at the South Bend Tribune. Please do not state things that you have no proof, give me someone in the journalism department that states that and then you can say it. In fact email the names of the people in the journalism shchool that want nothing to do with the preface and I will personally ask them why they think that; telphill@iusb.edu.

    Sam,

    To clarify your question about rapes, I asked Ken Klimik, a journalism professor here at iusb and an editor at the South Bend Tribune, and he said it is the job of a reporter report instances like these to the public, and following the guidlines set forth in many textbooks and, if you would like to check for yourselves, Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual; editor Norm Goldstein; 1999 34th edition, this is the book K. Klimik uses in his editing class and is in the preface room for quick reference. And yes the Preface currently does not have the rebuttal on the web, we are currently do updating our site, but if you would like , you can pick up our latest issue at any preface news stand and if they are empty just let us know and we will see what we can do. But the articles from the latest issues should be up in a matter of days.

    Rachel,

    As an old freind of someone who worked on the Vision last semester, he was in the same group as me last semester, one in which I no longer belong to due to conflict of interest. He told me and correct me if I am wrong, that the Vision started out as a boycott of the Preface because of the Kinsey article. Now, as a journalism student I have read the Vision and in part you have some interesting ideas, some of which I have heard you think we have stolen this semester, which if you look in the archives of the Preface you will see this is simply wrong. To view these archives go to the library they have a collection of every issue published. I am off track, any way, there is no battle between the vision and the preface, I feel as a journalism studnet that you have more of a conservative christian newsletter than a newspaper, which is fine, but you need to represent yourself as such and not as a newspaper which is to report the news in an objective manner. I am sorry if you felt the Preface did not reach your group of students, but remember there are many people here on campus and many groups we can not catter to everyone, we do our best to report things in an objective manner. Which I have gotten many compliments from the communication professors that we are doing just such. Yes our editors got mad at your editorial, because as to my knowledge, and correct me if I am wrong, none of you, except Chuck, are in the journalism field or have training in such field, and in a previous issue the editors had written that they would not be responsible for their writers that is what the blog was for. So to us having a conservative newsletter telling us that we have to take responsibilty when they have publicly said they won’t is hypocritical. The Preface did not bash the Vision, they simply said the facts, and included some of their opinions.

    Andrew,

    Any journalism student knows how you format your paper is how your paper is viewed. When you place the only non conservative writer, to my knowledge, on the lower half of the last page it shows the reader that it is the least important article in the paper. The top half of the front page is the most important. This could be the reason the Vision is viewed as Conservative. As I read the Vision, which I try to do as often as I can, I see that there is no witnesses or quotes from anyone other than your writers, which any journalism student knows can hurt credibility. Before someone poses as a paper they should have some understanding as to what a paper should do to represent what they want to represent, objectivity is the most important thing of any paper, I just don’t see this in the vision.

    I agree with Jason, there should not be a dispute between the Preface and the Vision, this is silly and immature. As for the full and complete facts, when encountered by such a story, a journalist is given few facts. I am not defending one or the other.

    “This is a time for campus publications, and campus readers to look closely in the mirror to see whether certian information should be released if it takes away the rights of individuals, while having no real facts to present.” -the editorial staff of the vision.

    This was published in the top right corner of the seventh issue volume 2. There has never been a time to my knowledge since I have been at the Preface that a story that was published has been inaccurate or without fact. Every article has an eyewitness or a professional in that field as the source, there is no dispute that we write accurate pieces.

    Some of the similarities between the vision and the preface this semester.

    1. The weblog- As far as I know the editors at the preface were working on the website since the summer, before the beginning of the year, but due to difficulty this did not happen until later in the semester.

    2. The club showcase, was a collaborated feature work between Adam G. and I that we discussed in the first month of publication, I would focus on student services and Adam on Studnet life, which includes clubs.

    I also find it strange that the Vision writes a half page condeming us for writing this article yet they have an aritcle titled “Campus Security Working to Ensure Campus Safety” which is based on the Alleged sexual attack. I just find that strange.

    Thankyou for your thoughts and commments
    Terrie

  27. Craig Chamberlin said

    Terrie,

    I appreciate your response. However, I addressed some of your points here also made by Jason in another post on our weblog, perhaps you missed it.

    It’s located at:
    Volume 2, Issue 3 -> Letters to the Editor

    The rebuttal (thanks Sam) you posted did not make reference to our initial post. Therefore, it is not a rebuttal. As I stated in another post our initial editorial made two points:

    1) We’d like to create a campus charter related to journalism and involve both the Preface and the Journalism Department and
    2) We felt the article published by the Preface was not ethically sound and they didnt have the moral right in that it disregarded the alleged victim and offender who may still very well be on campus for a headline. For a headline, in the sense there was nothing to report other than an allegation.

    Your rebuttal, on the other hand, made these two points:

    1) The Preface had the legal right to publish the article (Even though we never stated they didn’t), and therefore, somehow it merited the ethical right and
    2) The Preface didn’t have to listen to a “newspapetter” who lacked the journalistic integrity to make a judgement on journalism. The reasoning for our lack of journalistic integrity, of course, was because we lacked the “credentials” proudly boasted by The Preface. Even though the word integrity has absolutely nothing to do with credentials, it is a moral and ethical code.

    As you can see, this is not a rebuttal. A rebuttal would have acknowledged our original points, which respectfully pointed out what we believed was an unethical decision made by the Preface and issued a request for a Campus Charter. The Preface did neither.

    Instead, it justified itself ethically by stating it has credentials and that the Vision has no right to hold the Preface accountable (which by the way, the Vision is compromised of campus students and therefore, we are the ones who most definitely should hold you accountable, whether accredited journalists or not). If this is not an insult to our journalistic integrity and respectful request, then you should recheck the definition of what one is. To make matters worse, the Preface boasts it’s accreditation and ability to “hold the campus accountable” but responds to accountability by insulting the intelligence and integrity of those doing the accounting.

    I told Jason I am more than willing to discuss this issue openly to you guys, as he said he’d be more interested in a private forum. However, Jason was willing to admit he mis-interpreted our initial editorial, and therefore, the response made by the Preface was inadequate. It appears though, that not all of you are in agreeance with this issue. Some of you persist, such as yourself, that the attacks put forth towards the integrity of the Vision were justified. If this is the case, then it will be hard to work with eachother in the future. After all, it will be difficult to sincerely believe you will take us seriously if you feel we have no journalistic integrity and you feel a rebuttal attacking the journalistic integrity of those you want to supposedly work with are justified.

    Next, I was being facetious about the Journalism department. As I’m sure you really have communication with one or two members of it or the staff. However, my point was the Preface does not go out of it’s way to actively involve the Journalism Department in it’s dealings. This is merely an observation that has been made based upon opinions I have heard by students in the department, and obviously my own opinion.

  28. Rachel Custer said

    Terrie,

    Thank you for your comments. You asked me to correct you if you were wrong, so I will attempt to do so now.

    The Vision was not started as a boycott of the Preface. The Vision was started to ensure that a large percentage of the student body, which was not being represented in the pages of the Preface, could find some representation in the pages of the Vision. It’s interesting that you state that the Preface cannot represent all student groups; this is a very different statement from what the Preface has been issuing about the non-representation issue. Interesting.

    Also, I’m not sure where you got the idea that our editors are not responsible for what the writers put in their stories. Actually, the blog is intended to make sure that the editors are held responsible.

    If you read my comments above, I state that we don’t want a battle between the Vision and the Preface. You state that you think publications should be held accountable, but when we try to do so, you call us “silly and immature.” Interesting again.

    Also, I have stated time and again that we have several conservative Christians on staff. We are not ALL conservative Christians, so I really have a difficult time categorizing us into that little box. Yes, the majority of our content is conservative; yes, most of us identify ourselves as Christians. The interesting thing is, our publication is very objective when it comes to printing campus news. We are labeled as “conservative Christian” mostly on the basis of one or two editorials per issue, and we actually have a balancing editorial as well by a Democrat. So how biased is our publication really? On the other hand, the Preface has liberal editorials, which is their right, I guess, with no balancing editorials, and somehow they are a paragon of objectivity. Hmmm….

    We really don’t want an issue with the Preface; if you’ll read the rest of this post, you’ll see that we had a very fruitful discussion with Jason above. I must say, though, it gets frustrating. To be able to have our views heard on campus, we actually had to start our own publication, and when we did, we are accused of not allowing other opinions, even though we probably do the best job of that of either publication.

    I’m sorry we aren’t up to your journalistic standards, but you are mistaken about the lack of training and experience you think our editors and writers lack. As you have noted, Chuck has journalism training, Andrew Filmer has a journalism degree and has been published internationally, and I have worked on staff for two of the largest newspapers in Indiana, and been published in several others as well.

    I hope this clears things up…sorry it went a little long.

  29. Craig Chamberlin said

    Rachel,

    Good points, may I add:
    We didn’t start our publication to go into competition with the Preface, as you can see if you look back, our first issue was only 2 pages long. If a 2 page newspapetter with about a $300 budget can be initially qualified as in competition with the Preface of a $30,000 budget – somethings wrong. Even now, our budget has only moved up to $1,000 per semester. We typically do not go out of our way to consider ourselves “in competition” with the Preface, for students to acknowledge us as competative is actually very much a compliment.

    We stared it to get students points of view out there and to showcase campus clubs and events. Things like the Kinsey Confidential at the time gave us a good start, but overall these were not our motivation. I acknowledged these rumors multiple times on our weblog. Probably buried deep in there somewhere now…

    Sure editorials and letters to the editor on our issues are conservative, but many are also liberal. However, many people choose to oversee these and move straight to the ones that offend their points of view. We’ve published as many of the letters to the editor we have recieved from students, whether conservative or liberal. If we were out to an agenda, believe me, we wouldn’t have published Ryan’s article about a moral justification for abortion. I was adamantly against the article, but knew we had no grounds for censorship on the basis of freedom of speech.

  30. Andrew Filmer said

    A belated response to Comment No 18 by Sam:

    “It amazes me that anyone in his or her right mind would dispute that. Andrew Filmer’s reply reminded me of what it would sound like if Bill O’Reilly were to claim that Fox News wasn’t conservative (not that Filmer is conservative himself).”

    What amazes me, on the other hand, is how polorized people get and how keen they are to place labels on others – and sometimes, themselves.

    The Vision reported the Gay Straight Alliance’s Vigil for Victims of Hate Crimes on (if I recall correctly) its second page. I have been very vocal and on par with anyone on the “left” in the thread on homosexuality, and as a result had various rumors float around of myself on campus because of it, which I take as a necessary price of my journalistic responsibility.

    As has already been pointed out, this publication has taken measures to balance off points of view with Ryan Hill’s articles. The abortion thread may indeed have fallen on the right. However, but once again note that we did not take any measures to censor the original printed article, which likely is read more than the thread on this weblog.

    A publication that may have slightly more articles on the right – part of the price of not restricting (within reason and jouranlistic ethics) the independence of speech of our writers – does not make the entire publication conservative. I take pride in our publication’s efforts towards a more balanced and objective stance, which came out of prolonged editorial discussions. I am confident most if not all of my colleagues are on the same page.

    Lastly, for the record: I have no idea who Bill O’Reilly is.

  31. Anonymous said

    “Lastly, for the record: I have no idea who Bill O’Reilly is.”

    Imagine a functionally articulate Chuck Norton with a large audience. ;)

  32. Rachel Custer said

    Or, if you come from a different viewpoint than anonymous, a genius.

  33. Andrew Filmer said

    Terri,

    You wrote: “When you place the only non conservative writer, to my knowledge, on the lower half of the last page it shows the reader that it is the least important article in the paper.”

    As I have already noted, I am not a conservative writer either. Also note that the last page is not the least important article in a newspaper – that would be the center pages. Check out the sports section in any major newspaper and compare that to the classifieds and you will see how this pans out. I don’t know about how “any journalism student” would view this, but this is how a journalism graduate views this.

    You wrote: “As I read the Vision, which I try to do as often as I can, I see that there is no witnesses or quotes from anyone other than your writers, which any journalism student knows can hurt credibility.”

    I take great exception to this, and view this as including criticism of my own writing, since this is in the section of your comment addressed to me. In my own articles, here are the statistics:

    “Women in Prominent Positions: Dr Ilene Sheffer”: 4 quotes.
    “Erase the Hate”: 5 quotes (4 direct, 1 paraphrased) from 5 different sources.
    “Heart and Sold: the Scholarship Art Sale”: 3 quotes (2 direct, 1 paraphrased), from 3 sources.

    The only article which I have written that do not include quotes is “They Got That Swing”, which is a review, not a news article or an interview.

    I should add that quotes and witnesses are not the only criteria in judging journalistic worth, but even by your limited criteria, I stand by my work.

    To get these points so blantantly inaccurate is irresponsible, especially when you have noted that it can “hurt credibility”. I have every right to expect a public retraction and an apology from you.

  34. Sam said

    “Or, if you come from a different viewpoint than anonymous, a genius.”

    I take it you are referring to Chuck Norton here.

    Let me know what is correct.

  35. Sam said

    Kinda worried here…

    If Rachel thinks Chuck Norton is a genius, given that she is in fact on the IUSB Vision editorial board, this could spell the end of my participatiopn on this blog (not that you wouldn’t be happy about that!).

    Cheers,

    Sam

  36. Andrew said

    Rachel isn’t an editor. She said this like a dozen times in one of Chuck’s threads.

    I’m pretty sure she was saying that Bill ‘hot for falafels’ O’Reilly is a genius (and I’m equally sure he’s an annoying blowhard. Much like Chuck, in this sense).

    But whatever. I don’t want to be personal, but you may be in danger of taking Al Gore’s Internet too seriously.

    Ultimately, the editors’ opinion of Chuck Norton is less important than whether they continue to let him get away with lying in their paper.

  37. Erkki KochKetola said

    Andrew (F.);

    Do you want to strive for the same sort of false “balance” that the mainstream media provides? Finding an “expert” to offer an “alternative viewpoint” to create the appearance of not “favoring one side of the other?” The reason they do it is because they’re afraid of pissing off their advertisers or their ownership, so they have to make it look like there’s actually some question about a lot of these things (like global warming) because they can’t just ignore the science and scientists – they, too, are producers of the sort of pre-packaged commodity news that the media thrives on.

    Objectivity? What exactly do we mean by this? Writers have cognitive biases which filter both the story-selection and the writing processes, restricting the possible range of attitudes that the writer will attempt to cultivate in their readers. Editors also have biases, which means they’ll want certain stories covered and others not. The interplay of these attitudes will cause certain writers to be selected for and others not. The framework within which the Vision’s editorial staff operates is well-known. You do the math.

    They’ll strive for a “balance” and an “objectivity” which will ultimately be a caricature of both.

  38. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    Lol. Actually, I was referring to Bill O’ Reilly, and really just trying to make a point (which I guess failed) that we all look at certain things and peole differently, through the lens of our beliefs. I was actually kind of overstating to make a point (I forget what that’s called). So you don’t have to leave the blog. :)

  39. Craig Chamberlin said

    Erkki,

    You know as well as I we’ve had this discussion already:

    https://iusbvision.wordpress.com/2006/10/09/addressing-recent-issues-with-the-iusb-vision/#comments

    You were even involved in the discussion. Please try not to rehash semantics of false representation of balance and take the discussion off it’s original points.

  40. Andrew Filmer said

    Erkki,

    I concur with Craig, but at the same time I feel obliged to post an answer. As such, I will post my reply to you in the thread that Craig mentioned above.

    Terri,

    Still waiting.

  41. Terrie Phillips said

    Craig,

    Let me clear something up, the opinions in which I have declared above are of mine own. I do not represent the Preface though I do refer to them in my opinion stated above. I am glad that you have no interest in battleing with the Preface. As for the Alleged Sexual Assault article, how was it not moral for the Preface to write that. What I mean is if something like this happens, and no one is morally right to report something of that nature, then you would never have any report on that. Though I do agree Adam could have went more in depth with the quote, the fact still remains that as to my training in the field something of this nature is the papers responsibilty to report. After reading your editorial, I consulted Ken Klimik a man who has been in this buisness for umteen years, and explained to him what the Alleged Sexual Assault article said and what your editorial stated about being morally wrong. He sided with the article saying that it was not only in our right but also our duty.

    I am sorry if I affended some of you, not knowing that you have experience in the field. I retract that comment now that I am told otherwise. I still do stand on the belief that he Vision is more of a newsleter than a newspaper. And feel that there has never really been an issue with the Preface and the Vision before the stated editorial.

    I also apoligize Andrew, I was not aware of your stance.

    I would like to clarify, that is not because of your religion that I feel you are a conservative paper but because of the content. It would be hypocritical of me to bash a conservative christian, though I may have stated about christianity, it was not my intent. I am a conservative christian, maybe not to the standards of some, but one none the less.

    Thankyou for the clarification, and the quick responses.

    Terrie Phillips

  42. Gina said

    I used to design pages as an ad manager in high school and I used to write for the Perface. When designing pages, the most important info goes in the front, the stories of following importance go in the middle and the least importance in the back.

    In reading the vision, one would think that the least important things. (ex op pieces, ad’s meants to fill space) go in the back …stories belong in the middle and on the front pg. By saying that the middle stories are least important shows that you were not taught proper paper design….please learn proper style.

  43. Amy said

    The preface was right to report what they did and I support Terrie, the preface and free speech!!!

    ^-^

  44. Craig Chamberlin said

    Terrie,

    I respect your stance on the issue, and your respectful response. I would like to ask you a favor though.

    You stated, “I consulted Ken Klimik a man who has been in this buisness for umteen years, and explained to him what the Alleged Sexual Assault article said and what your editorial stated about being morally wrong. He sided with the article saying that it was not only in our right but also our duty.”

    Did he happen to state why it was your duty? Especially in this particular case. After all, our assessment was not that allegations should never be covered, but in this instance it wasn’t necessary and put the parties involved at far too much emotional risk for the coverage the Preface provided. It is important for a journalist to understand why they follow common journalistic practices – this emphasis was placed on posts made by Jason as well. I hope you understand why, in this particular case, it was ethically justified other than an accredited journalist said it was okay.

    If you could, ask Ken to jump on here and correct us if we are completely wrong on this issue. If we are grossly inaccurate in our claim, I’d really like to know. I don’t think we are, but I have been wrong before.

    Gina,

    Thank you for that clarification, as anyone with journalistic training knows, the back page is the third most read page on a publication. This is why we put arguments against “conservatives” on one of the top three read pages. In fact, this page is read more than the page Chuck’s column is posted on. Terrie might have missed that lecture, or as a student, may not have taken that class yet.

    Amy,

    I’m glad you got on to share your opinions, it’s good to see new faces. We are all for dissent. I appreciate your opinion, I hope, although you agree with the Preface, you can understand why we did not in this particular issue. It wasn’t to censor free speech, it was an ethical conflict, nothing more. Technically publications have the legal right to publish something atuned to pornography, free speech comes hand-in-hand with an ethical binding, which is where we bumped heads on this issue. Good for you to drop by and hope to see you again :)

  45. Rachel Custer said

    I find the discussion about placement of articles implying the importance of an article an interesting one. While it is widely regarded in the newspaper business (the ones I have been on the staff of, at least), that front-page and above-the-fold is the most prominent place for an article, there are different areas that are also considered important in the paper. For instance, I was taught that the back page is also very important, as many people just turn to the back after reading the front page rather than opening the paper. Interestingly, I was also taught that one of the most-read pages in the paper is the sports statistics page. This page has no articles, only briefs, and is filled with statistics, box scores, etc. related to recent sporting events. It is located in the center of the sports section, which in turn is located in the center of the paper. Therefore, I must conclude that another variable in whether a page is widely read is that people have a certain interest in specific things, and therefore choose to turn directly to the page that satisfies their interests. For instance, I always turn first to the Perspective page, as I enjoy reading opinions and letters to the editor. Then, it’s on to Sports. I’m sure others read the front page, then the arts section….and so on.

    The Vision is a fairly small publication; I’m sure people probably do the same with it. People who enjoy (or hate, as the case may be) reading Chuck’s articles, know where they can find him; people who feel the same about Ryan or anyone else probably can find him as well.

  46. Andrew Filmer said

    Gina,

    “You were not taught proper paper design… please learn proper style”? I have to disagree with your, um, high school experience.

    Importance in newspapers is generally associated to the relative value of advertisements sold on those pages. In more cases than not the amount that a reader pays to read the newspaper is actually less than the cost of producing the paper, and so ad revenue makes or breaks a publication.

    “ad’s [sic] meants [sic] to fill space”
    Ads never act as fillers! That’s why traditionally ads go in first, and articles surround them – and that’s why you have the term “news hole”: the hole that the news flows into when the ads have been placed.

    Back to the relative importance of pages. Naturally the front page carries the most value, and ads are the most expensive there. The back page is often the third highest in importance but usually the second highest in ad price simply because of the additional element of the use of color in the ads (in turn due it being printed together with the front page). The third page (not the second page) is often the second most important page of the newspaper, because the line of sight of a reader more often than not moves from the first to the third page. Additional elements involve which part of the page the ad is placed: an upper right ad will generate more revenue than a lower left.

    That is why the term, “they buried the article/retraction/apology” means placing an article in the center of the publication and NOT at the back.

    These are of course general observations, and Rachel is correct in saying that the demographic readership may change this balance somewhat. Since the last time I checked, it is also very possible that the importance of the second page versus the back page may have changed. Rachel is also correct in noting that the Vision is a small publication and I will add that we are not as bound to ad revenue in determining article importance. However, to say that the least important pages go in the back is at best applicable to a small minority of publications. It certainly does not apply to the Vision.

    I am admittedly unaware of how article placement pans out in your high school newspaper. I did however, earn a honors degree studying, among other things, proper paper design.

    Dissent is a good thing. Disagreement leads to debate, debate leads to knowledge, and knowledge leads to experience, and you know that when I say that I’m using my Yoda impersonation voice. But it really, really aggravates me when people (who don’t even list their full identity to take responsibility for their comments) arrogantly use words like “learn proper paper design” with scant expertise (or at least some proper support, or, dare I say, research!) to back up their arguments. Yes, I know that was an overrun sentence.

    Gina, prove I’m wrong or retract your statement. Learn the Force… or be Forced to Learn.

  47. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    You make some very good points. And I can second the fact that advertising is NEVER filler…advertising is paginated FIRST and then and only then are the pages filled with news. (Some news filler gets damn ridiculous, too, on a slow night…lol)

  48. Craig Chamberlin said

    Oh, hmm,

    I was thinking Gina was complimenting us, I really should have read that closer. I’m sure my post made absolutely no sense because I was thanking her for the clarification then correcting her… haha, whoops.

    I am not allowed to make mistakes, for the mistakes will make who I am!

    Thank you for your wisdom Andrew *bows humbly*, Jedi Journalist Master :).

    Watch out for the sarcasm, it’s comin at you quick. You better find some memes to fall back on. Oh shazbot, I should probably do my paper…

    Also Andrew, where did you get your Jedi Journalist training? Also, how is it Yoda can juggle Journalism and Jedi Masterhood, such ideas seem utterly impossible and I cringe at the thought.

    Ouch, I should be careful, my geek is showing.

  49. Sam said

    I got sick of seeing the same vertical sequence of Craig-Rachel-Andrew under “Recent Comments”, also under the same editorial subject, left unchanged for well over a day now.

    Is there anything else to talk about concerning the status of our planet these days, besides the current thread, and then a newly-introduced thread, regarding the exact same issue (no comments yet because frankly, it’s become too boring and way out of date)?

    What about the nomination of Robert Gates as the new Secretary of Defense? The current situation in Iraq (as opposed to Chuck Norton’s gratuituous and psychotic butchering of known facts based on years of evidence)? The impending prseidential race in 2008? The obvious consequences of global warming? Failed Bush policy in the middle east? Our defiant and supremely arrogant stance towards countries like Iran and Syria? The Mark Foley scandal in the context of how it might have shaped the last political elections? The failure of Intelligent Design as a a recognized “scientific theory” in this very strange land called America? The cult of Borat? Or if you want to get really conservative, what about the so-called “war on Christmas”?

    Far more importantly, is the alleged Spears/Federline sex videotape real or not? Inquiring minds want to know.

    I don’t work at IUSB… otherwise, I’d write up something.

    Maybe you guys are weighed down with finals at the moment. OU (where I teach) is on quarter, so we’re not in session at the moment.

    Best of luck to all IUSB Vision-related students in terms of final exams and everything else going on in their lives.

    Cheers :)

    Sam

  50. Craig Chamberlin said

    Sam,

    Yes.. It’s been slow and lonely here on the weblog. We’re all busying fail… err umm… passing all of our final exams. You’d be proud.

    It starts to die down here near the holidays and over the summer. Maybe I’ll catch you back on your topics (which are far too political for me to approach)

    As with Brittany Spears, it brings me to tears, so alleviate my fears, as the time has come near, to make some things clear, if it doesn’t end here, stars will break all held dear.

  51. Andrew Filmer said

    Such verse does in me implore
    A response from what’s left of my lyrical store –
    (Which I must indeed admit
    With exams now is stretched to the hilt.)

    Gates, Borat, Foley, Design
    What’s this, a tape of Spears and Federline?
    Ah alas, me apologies me sends,
    How me wishes those were on our exams.

    Further my symphathy if it is indeed
    That our three names do not fulfill thy literary need,
    But Sam, to save our academic lives,
    May I direct you – to our archives.

    See you next semester!
    (Unless in the break, some things mysterious fester.)

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