Beginning on Monday, Nov. 13th, rumors and fliers started circulating around Temple’s main campus. The subject of both concerned the alleged “racist practices” of this student-run newspaper. Students’ protest at the Bell Tower yesterday reiterated the same complaint, which was based on the accusations of one disgruntled student.
The protest drew the publicity of local radio and television stations, as well as the interest of students, all of whom are now burning with the question: what is this all about?
So far, if you have heard the story, you have only heard one side. This staff editorial presents our response: the Temple News wholly and absolutely refutes any charges of racism, whether they apply to editorial decisions, hiring process or personal relations and management.
In the case that inspired these allegations against us, an article was submitted to the newspaper and rejected based on the judgement of trained staff members, who found several innate problems with the piece that made it unsuitable for publication.
Misspellings, broad generalizations without support and vague and misleading examples were among the reasons for originally rejecting the piece. The decision was based entirely on the quality of the writing and not on the content or statement of the article.
In fact, the article was revised and intended to run at a later date. The newspaper has admitted in private, and now publicly, that there was a degree of mismanagement leading to the article’s further delay in being published; again, not based on a hesitance to print racially charged or controversial material.
However, because the article deals with race-related topics, specifically racial profiling and police brutality, the Temple News has been charged with discrimination: with hiding secret agendas behind valid editorial decisions, with altering our standard editing process to shy away from material we find too “urban” or inflammatory to publish.
This barrage of unfounded charges was all aimed at the one institution on campus whose very existence is a guarantee to freedom of speech. Only one word can describe these accusations: ridiculous.
Our staff is diverse in and of itself. Additionally, our reporters and editors have adeptly tackled the important task of covering campus diversity. This semester the staff editorial “Diversify Diversity” which promoted the virtues of living on a diverse campus, ran with response from the Temple community.
Similarly, our coverage of both on-campus and off-campus events has been extremely well rounded. Only last week we covered an African American Art Expo at the Liacouras Center and the celebration of the Indian New Year, both of which were featured on the cover. Search any issue and you will find a plethora of diversity and multiculturalism.
No discriminatory practices occurred at the Temple News, either latent or manifest. The decisions that were made were based on standard editing procedures and the journalistic knowledge of the staff, and no proof to the contrary exists.
To claim otherwise is an insult to the journalistic, ethical and human integrity of the Temple News and its staff.