• Lillie Burke

OPINION: Moving forward from mistakes

I’m a stubborn person. And as such, I hate to admit that I made a mistake.

I think that’s how life goes for many of us. We like to be right all the time. We want to make sure everything is right and perfect. Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself.

But no matter how much any of us may hate to be wrong, it is important for us to own up to our mistakes when we make them.

The Vision published an article Tuesday regarding the rejection of students for resident assistant positions based on their faith.

In our original publication, there were some factual errors that we made and there were some errors the university made.

And as editor of the Vision, let me tell you, this is something I never want to happen. I want every article we share with our readers to be accurate the first time we publish.

The Vision internally decided to temporarily remove the article from our site. We didn’t want to take it down forever, but we also didn’t want to leave it up with the errors.

My staff and I received many messages from students asking why we took it down. Let me be clear: We took it down because it had errors.

For some, it appeared that Belmont administration forced us to take down the article.

But this is not a case of administration censorship.

It was an internal decision to take down the article.

True, the administration says it made mistakes that we reported. And like us, they want to set the record straight as we reported in the stories posted Thursday.

And that is what we are doing as well.

The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics instructs journalists to gather, update and correct information throughout the life of a news story.

Once we learned that we made a mistake, we sought to correct it by gathering more information. My writers and fellow editors along with our adviser worked hard to make sure we corrected and updated the article as soon as possible.

The code also says a journalist should acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently, explain corrections carefully and clearly.

I want to take it a step further.

The code says we must explain ethical choices and processes to audiences and encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content.

Which is why I encourage any reader of the Vision to approach us with questions. We can be reached at belmontvisionnews@gmail.com or contacted on our website.

Or better yet, come see how we work.

Our office door is always open.

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