April 13, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Easter doesn’t equal Passover

While the photos which appeared on the front page of last issue’s Maroon were lovely, I was frankly stunned by the headline they appeared under: “A U of C Easter.” What, exactly, is it about someone arranging bitter herbs on a Passover Seder plate that looks like he’s celebrating the resurrection of Christ?

Passover isn’t an offshoot of Easter, or a consolation holiday for people who lack the magic of the Easter Bunny in their lives. It’s a real, separate holiday. It’s celebrated by real, religiously observant people. And it deserves real, sincere inclusion—not the half-hearted measure the Maroon took by displaying a photo but not bothering to label it correctly.

Sorry, guys; the Jewish community at U of C, and any reader who expects accuracy, expect better than this.

Nassira Nicola

Graduate Student

Department of Linguistics

Shoddy Journalism

I was disappointed to see the editorial standards used Friday, April 6 in “Network Connections: Craigslist Sex at the U of C.” As a former Maroon editor, I found the article to be lacking key journalistic standards, making it read like something more appropriate for the gossipy pages of the RedEye than the Maroon .

In order to be completely honest with the MAROON’s readership, the article should have stated that the posting that “U of C baseball players, successful alumni, science majors, frat boys, and even men claiming to be professors” replied to was in fact created by the writer. Aside from the fact that this method screams of (non-criminal) entrapment, the word choice in that list should never have passed editing. I understand the point of the sentence: People from all backgrounds and of all demeanors showed interest. But let’s take a look at the groups named. There are several hundred each of successful alumni, science majors, frat boys, and professors. There are just over 20 baseball players. Why was that group singled out?

It may be just a little slip of the tongue, but in the context of the other methods used, I can’t rule out shady reporting. The lack of transparency—anonymity for the interviewed Craigslist users and zero accountability for the writer—in investigating a fairly sensitive topic was alarming. And, let’s be honest, this was far from some noble cause that required deceptive methods. Until the Maroon prints exactly what the posting said, readers cannot trust that the methods used were either fair or representative of what typically happens.

If you don’t want to reveal the methods, then stay out of this sort of journalism. You need to be accountable in order to credibly tackle these subjects.

Sean Ahmed (A.B. ’06)

Former Maroon Sports Editor

Former Varsity Baseball Assistant