The Pacific Index

Editor defends The Index:

Dean emails The Index advisor

Keith Wallach, Co-Editor in Chief

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“The Pacific Index does not have a strong reputation. Even at the level of basic accuracy and proofreading, the newspaper has a  pattern of problems. It would seem, at the least, that advisor oversight and guidance is lax. It is our understanding that it is your practice to review the paper only after it is published – a practice that is not resulting in students getting it right the next time on their own. Please explain your plan for raising the quality of the Index, an organ that has the potential to be a powerful recruiting tool for Pacific and for Media Arts as well as a powerful learning opportunity for students, if done very well — and the opposite power to tarnish the reputation of the university and program, if done properly.”
The Chicago Tribune said, “It is a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell.” And The Pacific Index is a student newspaper that does exactly that. We pride ourselves on being the voice of the students and covering issues that would otherwise not be talked about, controversial or not. After being a part of The Pacific Index for the past two years, I have never been more proud to be a part of the staff. But I am not only a part of it, I am the Editor in Chief. This opportunity has provided me with the ability to make changes and I strongly feel that The Pacific Index is becoming what a student-run newspaper should be. Typos and corrections happen in the journalism industry. The New York Times has to run corrections in many newspapers and they are no stranger to typos. 
Yes, this is The New York Times and they have a very strong reputation, but their typos and corrections do not make them lose credibility. In an email from Lisa Carstens, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, it was brought to my 
attention that The Pacific Index “does not have a strong reputation, even at the level of basic accuracy and proofreading, the newspaper has a pattern of problems,” Carstens said. 
I acknowledge that The Pacific Index has its fair share of typos and corrections, but that is what a student newspaper is all about: learning. We have no intentions of producing a newspaper that lacks grammatical correctness but there is human error involved when typing. I am sure everyone, including the dean, has sent an email with a typo in it.
Carstens provides no evidence that The Pacific Index has a bad reputation and I welcome her to find significant evidence to support her claims and bring 
them to me as a complaint as this is a student-run newspaper. If this is her own personal view of The Pacific Index and she has ideas on how she thinks we could improve, they could be taken into consideration. 
Unfortunately, Carstens feels it is The Pacific Index’s advisor, Dave Cassady’s job to insure the quality of the newspaper. We are a volunteer newspaper, we do not earn money like other universities and we are extremely understaffed. I spend a minimum of 30 hours a week on newspaper related business and the editorial staff is no stranger to staying up until 4:00 a.m. to finish laying out the paper and making sure it sends off to the printer before the deadline. Staring at a screen and proofreading the entire newspaper in the early morning hours with my Co-Editor in Chief, Clara Howell, becomes a task better suited for someone who has not spent the last eight hours staring at the screen and same stories.
We do not have enough staff members to have a designated Copy Editor so that responsibility lands on the Editor in Chiefs after the rest of the staff has left. Likewise, the jobs of a Design Editor, Web Developer, Photography Manager, Business Manager and an Executive Editor do as well. This is not a plea for pay from the university. I realize the budget constraints and the unwillingness to provide The Pacific Index editors with a salary. 
My intentions are to make the students, faculty and administrators understand how much work, time and effort go into the newspaper each issue. In an email sent to Cassady, Carstens said “The Index has the potential to be a powerful recruiting tool 
for Pacific and for Media Arts.” Unfortunately Carstens has not discussed any of her ideas for recruitment with our staff. It is very hard to recruit students to write for The Pacific Index and be on the editorial staff due to the time commitment without any compensation. 
Yet, The Pacific Index is still published bi-weekly and according to multiple administrators, faculty members and students the newspaper has improved tremendously in recent years. We publish the paper despite the lack of space, funding and technology of the Media Arts Department.
Carstens also feels that The Pacific Index has the power to “tarnish the reputation of the university and program.” Our newspaper will continue to publish the news and will cover sensitive issues that some feel should not be covered. It is a student newspaper’s job to poke holes in the university when necessary and show the university in its highest regard when deserving. We will not shy away from controversial subjects and we will never deprive the students, faculty or administration, from the news they deserve. We are not a public relations entity for the university and we never will be. 
Knowing Carsten’s opinion of The Pacific Index, I encourage her to come down to the newsroom and see what it takes to publish the paper and only then will I take her concerns as legitimate. I consider all opinions of The Pacific Index very seriously, whether they are good or bad and encourage anyone that has opinions to reach out to me directly.
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Editor defends The Index: