The Easterner has served the student body as a forum for public debateand as a medium for informational articles and viewpoints on life. Most articles are published and read without any commentary online by readers. As a popular newsroom saying goes, “no news is good news” when it comes to online comments.
Of responses made to the April 13 article, “False advertising leads to power-based relationships,” very few contained constructive criticism related to the article itself. Many instead leaned heavily on derogatory arguments pointed at the reporter and inflammatory language which only escalated the situation. The newspaper’s website and Facebook page are open for readers to comment and partake in constructive debate, not to smear or besmirch a writer. I ask that further comments follow this ideal.
The article, with its sensitive subject matter, however, wasn’t without flaw. Within every criticism, there is at least some truth, and hindsight is crystal clear. The article’s wording could have been improved in key areas; although, if faced with the decision again the newspaper would still print the article. That being said, the intent of the article was not to slander victims of rape.
The subject of the article began from a textbook offered in PSYC 331, which focused on power-based relationships. From there, it was developed based on an article from the Journal of Sex Research. The article comes from the stance that repeatedly saying no to sex and then changing to yes, without explanation or developing a relationship over time, can potentially lead to a power-based relationship. The best solution to many relationship difficulties, as the article states, lies in communication.
It is imperative to reiterate that the newspaper in no way promotes rape, nor believes that victims are to blame. Any such promotion or accusation reveals a fracture in our attempt to become a more civilized and cultured society.
Just like other articles printed in the newspaper, it went through the regular editorial processing. Copy editors read it, editors scrutinized the content and, as often happens on layout nights, the topic was discussed for an extended period of time. In stark contrast to the online discussion, in-person comments have been positive toward the article. Many stated that the article addressed an issue that was fully-rounded by the time they finished the article. Women, both in the office and outside of it, have noted their approval for the article.
Rumors spread quickly in an enclosed community, and Eastern is no exception to the situation. One group may read only part of an article, and then spread it through campus. Being such a highly-networked and close community, word travels fast. It is easy for an article to be misconstrued and an article’s subject matter somewhat distorted.
Instead of picking out one or two paragraphs, I ask readers to focus on the article’s entirety. Look beyond the gossip and seek the real truth.