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Letters to the Editor

Nov. 12, 1998

On Wednesday The Lariat printed Jennifer Gearhart's letter to the editor where she claimed The Lariat lacked 'journalistic integrity' and played 'judge and jury' by simply doing its job.

She was responding to the paper's decision to print a brief that informed the Baylor community of an alleged sexual assault resulting in a Baylor student being arrested for the crime.

Gearhart claims The Lariat 'would forever condemn his reputation' by printing his name, classification and amount of bond posted. First of all, Gearhart, if you had ever picked up a newspaper (or taken Beginning Reporting and Writing), you would know that it is common policy, not to mention ethical, to print the name of any individual arrested for a crime as long as he or she isn't a minor; therefore, it wasn't a conflict of integrity to print the Baylor student's name.

Secondly, I have a problem with Gearhart's assumption that The Lariat did not print the 'supposed victim's' name because they respected her more than the accused. The Lariat didn't print her name because there have been cases where newspapers have disclosed the name of a sexual assault victim, causing another assault. It is standard policy of most newspapers to not print the victim's name, and The Lariat does implement that policy.

It is a newspaper's role, and, in my journalistic opinion, its moral obligation as the watchdog of society to investigate and print news that is deemed important and newsworthy. The fact that the accused is a Baylor student does not mean he is less susceptible to the scrutiny of the press.

The Lariat staff treated the article as any other credible newspaper staff would. Furthermore, I am proud that the paper printed information about the alleged crime instead of pushing it under the rug.

Gearhart lashed out at the paper for doing its job. Printing the male student's name was ethical. The Lariat didn't act as 'judge and jury.' The article told the facts. Hopefully, by the time Gearhart graduates in the year 2002 as a journalism major, she will have learned that journalistic integrity is writing the facts in a truthful manner.

Jennifer N. Williams

Journalism '98

The editorial cartoon in Wednesday's edition of The Lariat further demonstrated what seems to be the general consensus among the American people.

We are tired of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Of course we are.

But that hardly justifies what many people believe--that it is no big deal.

Let it go, they say. It's over. Wrong.

Those in the Clinton camp would love for America to let it go. They are trying to drag the issue further along while hoping that the American people will forget about it and put it on the back burner, at least for a while, if not for good. They did this with the Gennifer Flowers affair, which Clinton denied and then later confessed. For those of you who aren't catching on, this means he committed adultery and then lied to us about it. But after a while it simmered down, and America seemed to forget about it (after all, the economy was doing great). How convenient, Mr. President.

This issue, however, must not be ignored. It is time for America to stop allowing our president to lie to us and then forget about it. It is not OK for the president of the United States to lie to us. It is not OK for him to set an example for our children stating that it is acceptable to commit adultery. It is not OK for him to lower the standards of the highest office in the land. He must be held accountable, and this will not happen if we allow him to slip through the cracks once more.

Aaron Sprik

Accounting '01

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