A Tip About Investigative Journalism

Don’t be the person who wrote this: http://cornellsun.com/node/29053

Someone should call Fox News and tell them to hire the author of the above article because she has the two qualities Fox News requires: misquoting quotes and reporting false facts. Fox News is Faux News for a reason, and the Editor of the Cornell Daily Sun Eclipse section who wrote this article falls right in line.

First: If you’re going to investigate the tours given to prospective freshmen who visit Cornell, do exactly that. Investigate tours! (Emphasis on the plural) Don’t be lazy and go on one. Go on three. Find out what all of us are saying.

Second: If you truly are lazy and decide to go on one tour, pick a tour with a trained tour guide at the helm. Don’t be this author and choose a tour where two trainees are trying to learn the ropes of a 75 minute speech interrupted by inquiring parents while navigating the hills of Cornell by walking backwards.

Third: If you’re like this author and choose a tour with tour guides in-training and hear a misspoken fact, for instance, “Cornell’s AEM program was recently ranked fourth in the nation by US Weekly,” when you know the right publication was Business Week, have enough integrity to also report that the senior tour guide helping out these trainees corrected what was said and made sure the guests knew it was Business Week who ranked the AEM program 4th.

Fourth: Be smart. After all you do go to Cornell. Realize saying Cornell was one of the first Ivies to admit women is equivalent to Cornell was the first Ivy to admit women. IF YOU’RE THE FIRST THEN YOU’RE ALSO ONE OF THE FIRST. What this author did is like saying a square isn’t a rectangle.

Fifth: Don’t make fun of a tour guide in training because they’re saying “um” or “like”. Cut them some slack. This is one of their first times ever giving a tour. Everyone would be nervous in front of a group of 30 parents and high school students even before you realize you need to know the ins and outs of the College of Arts and Sciences even though you attend the College of Engineering. Even Barack Obama would say “um” or “like” while navigating the waters of what to say about Architecture, Art, and Planning for the first time.

Sixth: Don’t write how much of a godsend you are as this author explained how everyone loved coming up to her to get the “real” scoop of Cornell from a “real” student. What are we? Fake students?

Seventh: If you’re an editor, you have a higher responsibility for journalistic integrity than a regular reporter regardless of if you’re writing for the New York Times or some high school paper.

Eighth: You’re contributing to a college newspaper. You’re not Chris Hanson scouring the streets of America for child predators. You’re walking on a tour given by the same students who take the same classes as you. There’s no need to trash them with false accusations. They’re your peers!

~~~~~

Have you no sense of decency Mam? Have you none of it left?

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