Daily misrepresents date auction with ‘editorial rant’

To the Daily:

In yesterday’s article (Date auction courts controversy, 02/01/07), a Daily reporter intentionally swindled Project Suyana members into what was thought to be an unbiased news article but turned out to be a reporter’s editorial rant. It seems the reporter left out key parts of the fundraiser like a 58 Greene and ComCo performance as well as date escorts to supervise the dinner. There is even a written contract all participants sign that gives safety tips and precautions that the reporter coincidentally left out. In addition, Project Suyana has not been notified of any disapproval of the event by faculty, staff, administrators or students. If there is a controversy, it would stem from the reporter’s gross juxtaposition of the term “slave trade” with championing a humanitarian aid cause.

Dean Ho
LSA senior

Faulty focus of date auction story shows lazy reporting

To the Daily:

I cannot believe the complete lack of journalistic integrity that the Daily showed in an article only peripherally related to Project Suyana’s Date Auction (Date auction courts controversy, 02/01/2007). As someone who knows how hard the group’s members have worked to make the event possible, I know that the concept has been met with nothing but positive responses from students, faculty and administration.

It’s shameful that instead of focusing on the positive aspects of the event. the reporter makes frivolous claims that the administration is outraged, even though there has not been an ounce of public outcry.

What’s most disappointing is that there is so much good that’s going unnoticed. Could the reporter have spent more than four words describing Project Suyana’s mission to build an entire self-sustaining clinic for the poorest of the poor? Could she have mentioned the fact that, in a time of much campus division, the organizers are bringing in a diverse group of representatives from every single campus community together in order to support that noble cause? Could she even have mentioned that the Facebook.com folk hero and college connoisseur Johnny Lechner is coming to host?

Instead, the article has a telltale sign of terrible journalism – relying on contrived controversy and negativity to draw the reader. The only thing missing from this message of doom was a comparison to Nazi Germany. Oh wait, that’s in there too from a University administrator.

Swastikas aside, it’s clear that the reporter simply researched an obscure online statement in order to add some spice. She should have used that time researching the date of the event: The auction is tonight, not Thursday.

Ryan Jaber
The letter writer is an LSA senior and a cartoonist for the Daily.

To the Daily:

In Thursday’s article Date auction courts controversy (02/01/07), the Daily yet again showed us that it values drawing in readers through unsubstantiated claims of controversy as opposed to displaying a sense of quality investigative journalism. The reporter tried to claim a controversy between University officials and Project Suyana but never established any direct interaction between the two bodies. Based on this article, there is no evidence that any University official has taken action towards Project Suyana or contacted Project Suyana about the advisory policy. Maybe the reporter should have done more research before framing this issue as controversial. By the way, from our own research, the event is on Friday, not Thursday.

Jamie Shenk and Shana Shoem
Shenk is an Engineering senior and Shoem is an LSA junior

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