Editorials the right of every newspaper
- April 9, 2004
- Stephen Yeargin, Executive Editor
- Section: Opinions
To the campus community:
The Pacer has written seven editorials this academic year, yet none seem to have sparked as much controversy as last week’s endorsement of SGA presidential candidate Dusty Dean.
By definition, an editorial is an opinion piece written or aired by a media outlet to express its position on an issue and to publicly endorse certain action or policy. They are unsigned, as they represent the opinion of the newspaper as a whole.
Signed stories on these two pages are considered columns. Now that all of that is out of the way, I'll take the time to address each of our letters individually.
Mrs. Parnell stated that "Students look to you to report the facts and issues pertaining to the campus, not to state your opinion," which is true for all pages but the Op/Ed section. You’ll find that the cover of last week’s issue and the inside pages of the March 26 edition did just that.
All candidates were given the opportunity to speak with our editorial board in an open meeting, which both presidential candidates took the time to do, on March 25 in Gooch 316.
They both submitted additional information on our request. We also printed every endorsement letter received, and none were solicited from any candidate.
Mr. Brannon said, "[The Pacer is] not an independent organization. [It is] a student organization at UTM and it is unjust to support one candidate over the other."
It is quite the opposite. We are, in fact, a student organization, but editorially independent from the university itself, which would not favor endorsing any student over another in circumstances other than awards of academic or civic merit.
As for the claim that we had chosen a picture of Ms. Bartholomew that “makes her look stupid,” I simply say that we had a limited selection from which to choose. Her campaign requested that we take pictures rather than have them submitted to us. We accommodated. I will grant that it wasn’t a glamorous picture, but I hardly see how it influenced the vote in any way.
The Pacer Poll (on our Web site at http://pacer.utm.edu) is built to block ballot stuffing. I’ll admit, it’s buggy. However, I doubt that some 753 students voted online. If they did, many of them shared the same computer with the same IP address. Give me a break.
We simply removed the votes coming from those IP’s that were exact matches to the overvoters.
I’m still trying to figure out how political affiliation or which side of the fence I stand has any bearing on this issue. Oh well.