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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Editorial: An apology from the editor

Published: September 25, 2009
Section: Front Page

At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the news editor of The Brandeis Hoot and the editor-in-chief of the Justice, were called into a meeting with a university official who informed them of University President Jehuda Reinharz’s decision to resign. They were informed that Reinharz would make his resignation official at midnight and that any information shared with the news organizations was contingent upon our confidentiality. News of his resignation was not to be shared until he officially announced his resignation at midnight. Following the news editor’s meeting with the university official, the editorial board was informed of this information and of its sensitive nature. The board was told that no mention of Reinharz’s resignation was to be made to anyone outside of the editorial board.

Unfortunately, a member of the editorial board violated this code of confidentiality by informing a Brandeis student not on campus of the news via text message. This student then informed members of the blog ,who posted that “rumors” were swirling about Reinharz’s possible resignation at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday night.

Upon learning of the leak, the implicated editor was questioned. He admitted his indiscretion and was asked to resign. The Hoot is deeply sorry for this lapse of integrity. As a news organization, we are dedicated to truth, not rumors. We pride ourselves on being an organization whom readers can trust for accuracy and whom sources, the administration included, can trust for our professionalism and discretion. This week, a member of our board failed to meet our standards. And while he has been disciplined, ultimately, as a leader, I recognize that responsibility for our content and our behavior is mine and mine alone.

Our integrity is all we have at the end of the day and when we fail, we must acknowledge it, apologize for it, and do our utmost to prevent its reoccurrence. As such, the entire editorial board deeply apologizes to the administration for our lack of discretion and to the student body who was prematurely handed rumor instead of fact. I know that our apology cannot undo the damage that rumor has wrought but I hope that our community, and those who act as sources in particular, will recognize our sincere desire to earn back their trust through our continuing dedication to insightful, meaningful news coverage and commentary.

With deep apologies,

Alison Channon