The essence of ethical journalism is an inviolable separation of fact and opinion. Reporters don’t write columns. Columnists don’t report the news. And news editors don’t revise editorials written about those same news stories, as it would constitute a direct breach of the ethical wall prohibiting news persons from projecting opinions.
I made that mistake in the Feb. 26 staff editorial, “ASCSU, follow the rules.” It was a commentary on a news story regarding a senior student government official’s university course load, and whether it made him ineligible to hold the position according to the ASCSU Constitution.
One paragraph in particular that I rewrote reads: “Ask yourself that very question, CSU. Because in the end, as they so verbosely proclaim, this is ‘YOUR’ student government. And if they won’t govern themselves, then maybe you should do it for them.”
As the news editor, I edited both the story and the staff editorial, unaware that what I was doing was wrong. And, for that, I apologize. As editor in chief-elect, I will use this moment as an example for the 2013-2014 Editorial Board of what to avoid in carrying out their responsibilities as editors.