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Corrections, accuracy and communication: Trying to be ‘better than human’

We live in the era of “fake news.” Some attitudes towards media outlets are ones that reward blatant dishonesty. This lack of interest regarding facts creates an environment of distrust between readers and the many individuals whose job it is to create and publish the news that reflects the state of our community.

Now more than ever, it is vital for those in our position at publications like the Collegian to be held accountable both by their readers and by their own staff members. We recognize that telling us when we’re wrong is important, and occassionaly difficult. We acknowledge that in the past we may have appeared disinterested in receiving public feedback, but we assure you that that is not the case.

Submitting a correction is generous, and we applaud those of you who are willing to extend us that courtesy. It’s what keeps us honest. We try to be as accurate as possible, whenever possible. We want the paper to always reflect the truth behind every story, but sometimes we fall short of that goal.

Associate Professor of English Ivonne Garcia is fond of saying that journalists have to be “better than human.” Most of the time that’s true, and in a political climate that is so radically anti-media and anti-scrutiny, the phrase is of paramount importance. Journalists must strive to be as accurate and thorough as possible in all that they do.

But many individuals on the Collegian work 15-20 hours a week on this publication, in addition to schoolwork and other jobs. We’re going to miss things. And we’re asking for you to tell us when we’re wrong. For example, we recognize the emotional labor of cultural education, and this year we are prioritizing our role on campus as a mechanism for constructive dialogue and commentary.

Although we will always accept your constructive criticisms when we misstep, we will not be leaving that task solely up to you. We are making a concerted effort both as individual reporters and as an editorial staff to bring you, our readers, as inclusive, diverse and factually accurate reporting as possible.

Send us an email, stop one of us in Peirce or message us on Facebook. We want to hear from you and have a conversation.

The staff editorial is written weekly by the executive editors of the Collegian, co-editors-in-chief Bailey Blaker ’18 and Gabrielle Healy ’18 and managing editor Lauren Eller ’18. You can contact them at blakerb@kenyon.edu, healyg@kenyon.edu and ellerl@kenyon.edu, respectively.

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