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Survey Shows Gonorrhea Levels on Campus…

…are exactly the sort of sensational headlines that this publication does not need. Tabloid sleaze is not what we should be aiming for. But I appreciate that there is a broad, grey line.

To begin with, take for example, the recent series of items on Cedric Canas and Dana Soiman. This is a classic example of how sensationalism can corrupt even the most ethical newspaper. Constant inquiry by his na‹ve friends regarding the truth of this matter persuaded Cedric to have very stern words with the Harbus team to call a complete halt to this saga. So we haul ourselves off the slippery slope and vow not to publish anything more on this issue. (A shame since we have a photo – $1 a show – outside Aldrich 10 – during recess – password is `Excuse me, are you the one with that rather interesting photo of them two in a compromising position taken during the Progressive Party at SFP just by the sofa in the corner of the room, or have I got the wrong man ?

Here is another example of the quandaries that a focus on sleaze creates. I personally do not believe that we should print anything about the rumors of what nice, innocent, Mira has done on at least one occasion at that most honourable center of culture, “The Lap of the Irish” bar just off Tremont Street. Not only are such rumors un-corroborated but they originate from highly suspicious sources. After all, what was Neils doing at the Lap in the first place to have noticed these events. Re-living Amsterdam ? Can you see how such dilemmas are the natural outcome if we pursue a policy of sensationalistic sleaze.

Lets take another more subtle situation to illustrate the brutality of being an editor in today’s world. What if we printed an item pointing to the imminent announcement of an engagement concerning Tatiana and Christian. Would any one believe this ? Never. And here lies another problem – sensationalism leads to disbelief, disbelief leads to fear, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and before you know it, you are sharing a low-fat tortilla snack with the Dark Side.

So you see, having sensationalist headlines and sleaze-packed items is, as they say in England, simply not cricket.

June 18, 2001
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