A Statement from the Editor-in-Chief

By
Teddy David
on
July 15, 2020
Category:
Editorial

Statement from Editor-in-Chief Teddy David regarding the article “Despite Athlete Privilege, Violence is Violence”:

As our previous statement said, this morning, the Insider published an article that contained an account of sexual assault which, though all parties remained anonymous, was published without consent of the victim. This section was removed as soon as the oversight was realized, and a correction was posted to the top of the article. We also added a Content Warning. The Insider apologizes for this lapse in judgment and will ensure that it does not happen again. We recognize the harm that this caused and we are currently meeting as a team to make sure that this type of mistake does not happen again and that we hold ourselves to a higher standard moving forward.

I feel it is important, as Editor-in-Chief, to personally address this issue more fully. The article was reviewed by several editors, myself included, before publishing. Since it is summer, not all Campus & Culture section editors were available, and the article was also reviewed by several editors from other sections. However, the passage containing the account of sexual assault was added at the last minute, and I was the only editor to review this before I chose to publish. I take complete responsibility for this harmful decision, and I fully recognize the harm that publishing an account without the survivor’s consent can cause to those affected by sexual assault.

It has also come to my attention that the editors of the Campus & Culture section of the Insider and even the entire editorial staff are being blamed for this mistake. I want to make clear, in no uncertain terms, that they should not be held accountable for my mistake. The Insider has a thorough and transparent editorial process in which at least two editors are responsible for each article, making suggestions for style and strength of arguments without changing the author’s voice or viewpoint. However, the author also has the option to decline the suggestions. We give the author this privilege because we believe it improves the variety of opinion on our campus. Going forward, we will make sure that what happened today does not happen again and that the responsible section editors have ample opportunity to review all submitted articles. Effective immediately, the final, edited versions of all articles will be thoroughly reviewed by the relevant section editors prior to publication.

We still hold that the author did thorough and accurate research in the remainder of the article, following all journalistic and ethical practices. It is usually against our policies to delete published articles except with outstanding warrant, especially when all necessary changes can be made via correction. We believe that the author’s viewpoint, which is her own, is a valuable one, and we felt that it was important to publish. We also hold that disagreement with a viewpoint expressed in the Insider is not grounds to call for the article’s removal. This policy remains for any view expressed in the Insider.

However, because of the unusual and significant lapse of judgment in our editing process, and due to the particularly sensitive and personally harmful content which should never have been published in the first place, we, the relevant Insider editors along with the author, have decided that the best way forward is to rescind the article immediately, especially for the sake of the party harmed by our error. We are happy to accept comments by email about any of our articles; we will try to respond promptly and thoroughly, although we may not be able to respond to all comments.

Teddy David

Teddy (’22) is a history major and French correlate with an interest in art history. He works with Braver Angels, a non-profit focused on building mutual respect and fighting political polarization among Americans. Teddy is from New York City, and he enjoys classical music, reading history, and spending time with family.