Staff Editorial: Identifying victims of crime

In the article “Crimes on campus” on page 2 in this week’s issue of the Echo we identified an individual who asked to remain anonymous. The Echo decided to identify Jennifer Barnard because her name is part of the public record, meaning the information is not considered confidential, and anyone can access it.

The Echo strives to provide the most accurate story as possible, and even though the individual asked to remain anonymous, The Echo chose not grant the request. According to the Society of Professional Journalism Code of Ethics, one should “Reserve anonymity for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm, and have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere.”

As the campus community was informed of the burglary via email and text messages on Oct. 16., the theft was elevated from a common crime to an unusual crime on campus. Due to the unusualness of this event, the Echo found this to be newsworthy.

Our mission statement as a student publication is to publish news, features and editorials as a vehicle of information and opinion by students. This article provides information about incidents that have happened on campus. As a campus newspaper it is our job to cover both the good as well as the bad that happens on campus. The Echo also wanted to debunk the rumors regarding the incidents, and get the accurate story for the campus community.

We gave the identified individuals several opportunities to comment on the incidents, but they declined to do so. The Echo welcomes responses from the campus community. Please send letters to the editor to [email protected]. Letters must be no more than 250-300 words and must be signed by the author with year or position and major or department. Anonymous letters will not be published.


Published November 5, 2014