By “The Stroud Courier” Editorial Board
After the October 30 publication of “The Stroud Courier” debuted last Thursday, Student Activity Association (SAA) leadership informed us, “The Stroud Courier” staff, of a potential breach in funding policy.
According to Rule 17 of the Policies and Procedures Regarding Student Activity Association Funding, “SAA budgeted funds may not be used for any type of partisan political endorsement or activity, or for contributions to the campaign fund of any candidate for political office.”
The allegations of the potential breach came in response to an article published in the Opinion section of “The Stroud Courier:” “Vote Tom Wolf for Governor on November 4.”
In response to the allegations, the newspapers were pulled to avoid the potential misuse of funds.
“The Stroud Courier” did not officially endorse gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf and stated such on the issue’s front page, although certain factors led SAA leadership to believe the article might have been an endorsement: the lack of an article supporting gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett, the use of the aforementioned headline, and the illusion that the article was written by a staff writer.
We sought an article in support of Corbett. The Editor-in-Chief requested an article from several right-leaning colleagues, and none of them agreed to write the article.
Dr. Fred Misurella, the Courier’s advisor, asked at least one of his journalism classes for a volunteer to write the article.
Despite our efforts, we did not receive an article in support of Corbett.
We decided to publish the article supporting Wolf because we did not believe we should censor a belief for the lack of an alternative. A counterargument almost never accompanies an opinion piece in “The Stroud Courier,” so it was decided this case should be no exception.
The use of the headline was an attempt to reflect the article. We believe a headline contrary to the content is dishonest, and is a strong indicator of bias and deceit. For this reason, the headline mentioned above was used.
Despite our attempts to make our disinterest in endorsing Tom Wolf clear, we failed to catch a mistake contrary to our efforts: we accidentally listed the contributing writer as a staff writer.
A contributing writer and a staff writer are different in a number of ways, although the greatest distinction is staff writers often receive article assignments, while contributing writers never receive assignments.
Articles are sometimes requested from contributing writers, as was the case here, but they are never expected.
When these arguments were posed to SAA leadership, they did not find them sufficient and requested the issue be pulled.
We apologize for the inconvenience, and all articles — other than the aforementioned article — can be found at thestroudcourier.com.
Some of the more timely articles from last week also appear in this issue.
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