Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Student editors take readers behind the scenes

The Campus Press, the student newspaper at the University of Colorado-Boulder that started a firestorm by printing a column that satirically called for a war between whites and Asians, ran a news story Monday explaining how the controversial column came to be published. (See earlier post for background.)

The story, written by staff writers Rob Ryan and George Plaven, lays out step-by-step what happened, including comments from editors who felt they were left out of the process. It's an interesting approach to dealing with a public relations fiasco at a student newspaper. Generally student and professional newspapers just deal with their errors in an editorial or opinion column and with news stories about reaction.

The article is the lead story on the newspaper's Web site, right under an invitation to readers to write a letter to the editor about the controversial column.

Also in the paper this week is a letter signed by nine editors who were not involved in the decision to run the column and who thought it was wrong.

"Many of us -- we do not speak on behalf of the entire Campus Press staff -- disagreed with the publishing of the opinion," the editors wrote in a opinion piece entitled "A letter from some different editors." "It was a mistake and we do not stand behind the decision to publish the opinion."

The letter and the article offer readers a glimpse behind the scenes of the newspaper, providing transparency at a difficult time for the newspaper staff.

What do you think of the way The Campus Press dealt with the fallout from the column? Post a comment here.

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