Marquette Warrior: The Tribune and the Office of Student Development

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Tribune and the Office of Student Development

Just yesterday blogger Ryan Alexander broke a story based on his conversation with a student reporter for the Marquette Tribune. The reporter told him that in a front page Tribune story reporting on Alexander’s online petition to have Pam Peters fired by the Office of Student Development, there was no mention of the web address of the petition because the Tribune feared the response of OSD.

Jen Haberkorn, Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune, has confirmed that the conversation was as Alexander reported it, but disputes the accuracy of what the student reporter told him.

She insists that there was no discussion of any repercussions from OSD should the link be included in the story. According to Haberkorn, the story as written contained no link to the petition, and when she read the story in her capacity as editor she saw no need to include any link, nor any discussion of the fact that the petition was available online.

Haberkorn says that it’s not standard Tribune practice to include web addresses in stories.

We find it a bit odd that the story not only omitted any mention of the web address of Alexander’s petition, but failed to even mention that it was online.

But Haberkorn argues, quite plausibly, that the Tribune has a history of reporting things that various people around the university find embarrassing or uncomfortable. Indeed, she points out that the Tribune would not have run the story at all had it been excessively concerned with what OSD thought.

But then why did the reporter tell Alexander the things that Alexander accurately recounted?

Attempts to reach the reporter for comment have been unsuccessful. One can only speculate that it was an attempt to placate him, or perhaps the reporter simply misunderstood the culture at the Tribune and actually believed that including the web address would be frowned upon.


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