Letter to the Editor: ‘Disappointed’ in coverage

(We at the Review believe in open and civil discourse. In that spirit, we are continuing the long-standing tradition of featuring letters to the editor to allow our readers to express their views in a public forum. We encourage all of our readers to share their opinions with us in this manner.

It should be noted that the opinions and views expressed within these letters are entirely those of the authors, and are not reflective of the opinions and views of the Review.)


Letter to the Editor

We are deeply disappointed in the Washburn Review for the “breaking story” it published last Saturday regarding the incident at a department Halloween party, which is currently being investigated. The first iteration of the story included no on-the-record sources, even while it published the name and photo of the faculty member in question. In our view, this amounts to publicly dragging someone without due process and before the facts are clear.

In order to function properly in a democracy, a free press must abide by a strict code of ethics. The Society of Professional Journalists is one organization that offers guidance to journalists. Off-the-record sources should only be used when (a) the information they provide cannot be obtained elsewhere and (b) the source faces real danger if revealed. Neither was true in this case.

In our clickbait-driven world, rumors and controversy spread fast while facts and logic struggle to catch up. To be clear, we were not present at the event in question and are not expressing any opinions about it, nor are we trying to validate or invalidate the feelings of anyone who was present. Rather, our intention is to remind the Washburn Review that ethical standards for journalism matter because in a democracy, individuals have the right to due process and the right to face their accusers. We all benefit from these rights.


Lindsey M. Ibañez, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology


Alexandra R. Klales, PhD, D-ABFA

Associate Professor of Forensic Anthropology