Letter of apology

At the Southern News, we work hard each week to cover the events and issues on campus to the best of our ability. Practicing good journalism is important to the reporters and editors, and we strive to get all the details correct. The campus community should expect what they read to be accurate, coverage to be fair and balanced and for our staff to report and edit with a high level of integrity.

When we make an error we are willing to step up and admit the mistake and take steps to correct it whenever possible.

We want to offer our sincerest apologies for two recent mistakes that warrant this unusual, formal apology in print.

Recently, a story on Page 1 claimed a new club on campus was connected to a sex trafficking threat on campus. We later determined that there is no sex trafficking threat at Southern, nor were these students associated with recruitment activities for such illicit activity. In this case, using social media posts where campus sources were making such claims did not rise to the level of journalistic fact-checking. Students associated with the honest recruitment for the club reported to us that they felt they were “suffering consequences” among their campus peers as a result.

We apologize for this to them. We are truly sorry, and accept responsibility for our actions.

In addition to this error, the incorrect photo of the late gymnast Melanie Coleman was posted on the Southern News website. We removed the photo when it was identified and replaced it with the correct photo. We apologize to the Coleman family for the undue burden the brief publishing of this photo may have caused.

We pledge to the campus community to work harder and getting all information correct in future editions, so the Southern News can be a trusted source of information on campus.

By The Southern News Staff

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