On that Letter
I am dismayed by the Watch’s decision to run a rebuke by Ms. Kim Kierans in the October issue without any formal editorial response.
This, to me, constitutes passing the buck. By allowing someone—indeed, a representative from one of the parties involved in the story itself—to criticize a contributor unfiltered is a shirking of accountability. By printing Rachel Ward’s article in September, the Watch effectively stated that this article is factual and accurate, and we stand behind it. But by remaining entirely silent to the letter—without allowing Ward an opportunity to respond, without a defense or an apology from the Watch—the magazine chose instead to ignore the role its editorial team played, and the errors themselves. The lack of response also leaves me wondering, as a reader, who is actually correct, a question that remains unanswered.
My greatest concern is about the precedent this sets. It begs the question: for a magazine that relies on volunteers from inside King’s, with some having little to no journalism background, why would contributors even get involved, knowing they might be thrown under the bus by the Watch’s executive?
Running a student paper at a university is a wonderful experience. You realize you have the ability to genuinely bring people together and to dictate the direction of an entire community’s dialogue. And somewhere along the line, you also realize you are running a very meaningful institution that needs to purvey quality works in a reputable way. I hope the executive of the Watch learns this in the near future. Having a space to write, opine and publish—and a place to learn from mistakes, on both the editorial and contributing sides—is an impossibly valuable thing, and I strongly hope that contributors continue to realize this.
Watch editor-in-chief and staffer, 2009-11
We heard from quite a few of you, our readers, on this subject. Here and now, we’d like to assure you all we take the responsibility of creating the Watch extremely seriously, and we’re distressed to hear that anyone thought differently. We also take great offence at being accused of throwing our writer “under the bus”. We communicate with our writers at every step of the editing process, doing our utmost to work as a team. We hope our writers find this as fulfilling as we do.
For more on this, please turn back one page to read our editors’ note. EN
ON SEATING PRIORITIES
This October saw the first ever Alex Fountain Memorial lecture, where Michaelle Jean spoke on ‘creating social change’. Before the talk, Dr. Fred Fountain, Alex’s father, came out and said a short piece about Alex, and why we were all there. He emphasized that this lecture series is about the students, and the importance of having speakers who are important to students, selected by the students and speaking about issues affecting young people. In light of this, I was disappointed by the seating arrangement at the lecture itself. The first four rows were reserved seating, and while I recognized a few students in the reserved seats, more than 9 out of 10 individuals sitting at the front were non-students. The rest of the lecture hall was a fairly homogeneous mixture of students, faculty, and visitors, as was the overflow room. At a lecture specifically set up for the benefit of students, shouldn’t the students have priority seating as much as local dignitaries do? Perhaps next year space could be set aside for student seating at the lecture, so that they can enjoy face time with the distinguished guest, and have their questions heard.