Editor, Daily Nexus,
I am both disappointed and deeply concerned by the coverage the Daily Nexus displayed in last Wednesday’s article entitled “A.S. Claims C.O.D.A. Is ‘Dormant.'” (Feb. 13). The article inaccurately portrayed the commission to be inactive, even shamelessly featuring a pull quote by C.O.D.A. co-founder Bill Flores stating, “A lack of money should never be used as an excuse for the committee not functioning.”
As an active member of the Associated Students Commission on Disability Access, I find it deeply troubling that the article did not include comment from myself or C.O.D.A. Chair Alex Gossage, nor included any of the actions taken by C.O.D.A. at its publicized weekly meetings. Despite the Daily Nexus’ attempt to portray the opposite, I am currently working with C.O.D.A. to research an issue of great importance to disabled students on this campus. I am deeply concerned that my efforts to defend the rights of students with disabilities would be undermined by a poorly researched article. Although I am currently working on an issue with C.O.D.A., I consider it my responsibility to meet all those involved, research the issue and come to a factual conclusion before I publicize my findings, for I consider my personal integrity to be more important than a hasty rush to judgment.
While the journalistic ethical issues are extremely important, there is a much more pressing issue at hand. As an American citizen, I find an independent newspaper, such as the Daily Nexus, to be the most vital element in the democracy that takes place in this government institution. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” It is truly a shame that the articles published by the Daily Nexus, supposedly one of the more progressive UC newspapers, are half-researched and grossly inaccurate. I sincerely hope that in the future, the Nexus realizes that with the right to a free press comes an incredible responsibility to uphold the truth.