By Nico Farrell
Sometimes, newspapers need to take bold stances, and at times they may pass judgement on errors they’ve previously made, but a newspaper that doesn’t allow its readership to see its controversial articles has failed journalism. Earlier this month, the Pioneer Log published a satirical piece entitled “New study finds LC actually has an Athletics department,” which polarized many readers and led to what the PioLog describes as “countless conversations across the community about the divide between athletes and the rest of campus.”
Upon seeing the backlash against the piece, the PioLog took it down from its website entirely, in addition to issuing a retraction. Subsequently, the PioLog has gone back and forth on what it thinks of its own actions, characterizing the article as both “a lapse in judgement” and potentially “the most effective piece of satire in LC’s history,” but it has remained steadfast in its determination that nobody else be able to see it.
If the PioLog wishes to apologize for its mistakes, it can certainly do so by publishing a retraction, both in print and online above the article it retracts. However, for a newspaper to also hide its own article stifles any possible response, positive or negative, and to continue to hide the article despite reversing its decision is absurd. By keeping the controversial article away from visibility on its site, the PioLog is holding the false virtue of consistency above the basic principle of transparency in a free press.
Nico Farrell ’19