Editor, Daily Nexus,
I was justifiably horrified when I opened the Nexus last Thursday to find an unforgivable misrepresentation of the facts. In the article (“Leggies Prepare for Election, Debate Porn Nation Funding,” Daily Nexus, Apr. 13), Off-Campus Representative Gina Fischer is quoted as saying “I didn’t know that Jared serving as a proxy for me would hinder his performance in the election … If I did, then I wouldn’t have done it.”
What Fischer actually said was “I didn’t know that Jared serving as a proxy for me was going to become the basis for [his] ‘extensive’ involvement in A.S. … If I did, I wouldn’t have done it.” While meant as a sarcastic jab at Jared’s claim of “extensive involvement in A.S.,” all hints of criticism are lost in the Nexus’s misquoatation. And how, one may ask, am I so certain that this is what Ms. Fischer actually said? I did what the Nexus failed to do in this, and many other instances – I actually spoke to the person I intended to quote, in order to take a statement from them.
As elected representatives, we know that the Nexus often reports on our events and activities. A staff writer comes to each of our Wednesday afternoon meetings and diligently sits through the entire duration of the meeting (some of them as long as six hours), at the end of which they produce a short blurb summarizing our events, oftentimes neglecting to even speak with the parties they intend to quote. My criticism here is not of the journalistic process – I realize that we live in a world where one-liners and sound bites are king – instead, it is of the vast inaccuracies that the Nexus frequently seems to contain. While many may argue that these kinds of mistakes are trivial at best and do not warrant this kind of an overreaction, I feel like these kind of mistakes can be irreparably damaging to the parties involved.
I have been misquoted by the Nexus on insignificant matters and I’ve never responded with this kind of frustration, but with elections in full swing, these kind of statements – that would have formerly been insignificant – get blown out of proportion. One has only to think back to the intensity of the last presidential election and the conflicting accusations of slander that arose from both sides as a reminder. While campus elections may pale in comparison to a national presidential election, there are still a large number of people who pour their hearts and souls into this election process for a chance to afford themselves the privilege of representing the students, and for the Nexus to so grievously misrepresent a candidate’s stance does a great disservice to the candidate and the party as a whole. While I understand that the process of producing a daily paper can be strenuous, and the severe time constraint may not allow for the degree of accuracy desired, if for nothing but the integrity of the paper and the stories contained in it alike, it is the Nexus’s journalistic responsibility to accurately report events as they occur. I’m going to wrap this up by doing what all respectable writers should do – openly stating my biases. I’m a current member of A.S. Legislative Council[, sitting as an off-campus representative. While I appreciate the active role that the Nexus has played in publicizing our events and informing students about what we do and who we are, I still believe that the accuracy with which the Nexus covers these events leaves something to be desired.