BROOM: Continuing excellence

The Cavalier Daily staff should strive to continue comprehensive coverage in the new semester

As we return to Grounds after break there is a lot to reflect on. The Rolling Stone story and reactions to it have made headlines all over the world. On the Cavalier Daily website there have been thousands of comments as hundreds of people have weighed in with their thoughts and feelings. The timing of the break for the staff of The Cavalier Daily was almost unbelievable in that it gave a hard end to an ongoing story just as it was completely shifting. It will be fascinating to see how the fallout from the story, the changes at the University and responses to those changes are covered in the coming weeks and months.

Something I would like to see and urge The Cavalier Daily to spearhead is an exploration of the very culture the whole story was about. Regardless of the problems with the Rolling Stone reporting — and to be clear, the reporting there was abysmal — there are problems and issues at the University that need to be addressed. Reporters should seek out and write about examples or icons of the culture. What are the traditions or institutions that create or perpetuate the kind of culture we worry about? As Julia Horowitz articulated for Politico, until Rolling Stone issued their apology a great many people didn’t have a problem believing something like what was described was at least possible. The reactions from all kinds of people have shown that many want changes in our community. What are those changes, why do people want them and why haven’t they changed before? These are stories and answers I’d like to see explored so we might all learn more about our community and our culture. It would be enlightening and of service to the community. The Cavalier Daily is positioned to figure out what needs to change.

I don’t get a lot of direct correspondence from other readers and so I rely largely on comments on the website to get a sense of what other readers are thinking. On the Rolling Stone and related stories those commenters have been plentiful and more than a little disturbing. The vitriol leveled at college students is absurd. More than one commenter decried The Cavalier Daily for being scooped by the Washington Post, which, even if it were true, compares one of the most powerful news gathering organizations in the world with a small group of volunteers who are also students. My point is that if you’re going to yell about the coverage, try to keep it in touch with reality. Beyond that, many commenters seemed to feel that The Cavalier Daily was particularly responsible for driving the story in a bad way. I didn’t see that happening but saw basic reporting, engaged commentary from Opinion writers and an effort to keep the community informed. I wrote before the break that The Cavalier Daily staff was doing an excellent job covering the story from many angles. I think they continued to do that and I hope they will do that as we move on.

Christopher Broom is The Cavalier Daily’s public editor. He can be reached at publiceditor@cavalierdaily.com, or on Twitter at @cdpubliceditor.

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