As Collegian editors, a good part of our time is spent worrying.
Worrying about whether we got our facts right, about the consequences of our stories and mostly, about whether we were fair to the subjects in our stories.
There have been times when we awake in the middle of the night, laying in the darkness, wondering whether we did our readers justice, or whether we included that key fact needed to put everything in perspective.
To make a long story short, we care deeply about journalism and doing the right thing.
That’s why we’re a bit taken aback by the criticism of our coverage of the meningitis-related death of a woman who had attended a Pi Kappa Alpha party, mostly that we included the fact that she attended the party.
Now, we get criticized every day and we welcome it. It keeps us on our toes.
But we believe the recent criticism, mostly by members of the PIKE fraternity, shows a clear lack of understanding about the craft of journalism.
In letters to the editor and several online story posts at Collegian.com, we have been accused of having an anti-PIKE “agenda.”
This is ridiculous.
The PIKE fraternity clearly has a history at CSU. It was suspended last year for an alcohol-related violation.
When news breaks, we encourage our reporters to gather all the relevant facts. In this case, a reporter sent to a breaking news event made a connection that no other reporter did, and we decided the fact was relevant.
For one, we hoped everyone who attended that party would seek proper preventative medical care.
And, also because as reporters, we’re about presenting facts. The fact that the PIKE fraternity – a group that is of interest to the campus community – happened to be involved, we felt, was relevant.
Feel free to criticize our judgment, or the amount of play we gave to the connection. We are far from infallible. But to accuse the Collegian of an anti-PIKE or anti-Greek agenda is simply irresponsible.
And lastly, it’s not the Collegian, nor any other media outlet, that created the bad-boy PIKE image.
The fraternity seems to have relished in its outlaw status, even playing off that image with its marketing campaign last year with the slogan, “We’re the ones they warned you about.”
If anyone or anything is responsible for that less-than-sparkling image the fraternity now wants to shed, it’s the PIKEs.