LTTE: Problem with Nick

Sep 162007

Nick Hemenway’s most recent addition to the Collegian was a disgrace to sensible journalism.

He assembled a stumbling compilation of attacks on the Democrats’ response to General Petraeus’ report to Congress.

But there is one glaring inaccuracy with his piece – all of the quotes and evidence that he used to support his claims were from before Petraeus’ testimony ever took place.

This leads me to only one conclusion, Hemenway’s article was written in advance of the hearings.

Now I understand that Hemenway is a Mechanical Engineering major, not Technical Journalism, so let me advise him on two basic principals of reporting.

1) Do not form opinions before performing research on a topic. This leads to biased reporting and unsubstantiated conclusions.

Also included under this principal is do not write your reaction to an event before the event happens. It’s poor judgment and even worse journalism.

2) Do not steal other people’s work. I found the phrase from Hemenway’s article “the Democrats are politically committed to defeat in Iraq” in numerous “Talking Points Memos” from Bill O’Reilly, dating as far back as August of ’06. Plagiarism is a crime.

If Hemenway wants to pretend to be a journalist during college on his way toward a life in engineering, that’s great – writing for the paper can be a wonderful experience.

Please, just do so honestly and with integrity, the Collegian’s readers deserve it.

Keith Smith

CSU Alumnus 2007

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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