The journalistic profession is built on a foundation of calling people out on their shit. Last week, people took to Twitter and Facebook to call us out on our shit, and they had every right to.
We reported on a meeting between law students and UNB administration that was intended and communicated to be closed to the media.
This was due to a series of miscommunications between our reporting and editing staff, and as soon as this was realized, we retracted the posts and apologized. It was a dumb mistake, and I assure you we take our mistakes, however dumb, very seriously.
But here’s the thing. As much as we did, in fact, screw up, we shouldn’t have been put in a position to do so in the first place.
The entire UNB Law debacle surrounding dean Jeremy Levitt’s sudden leave has been shrouded in so much mystery it might as well be my childhood bedroom during my mosquito net/beaded-curtain-in-lieu-of-an-actual-door phase.
The Law Students’ Society’s requested to media that they stay out of last week’s meeting, and UNB administration has remained tight-lipped about the entire ordeal, as if every single person with a vested interest in UNB doesn’t have every single right to be kept in the loop.
Add to this newly-acquired information that law students are feeling “pressured” by the very society that represents them not to speak to media under fear of “repercussions,” as was revealed at Sunday’s council meeting, and you’ve got a recipe for a warped and deeply disturbing concept of press freedom on this campus.
One person tweeted to the CBC’s Terry Seguin that “not everything needs to be ‘open.’” Seguin replied that in this case, “openness would be beneficial … for students, parents, New Brunswickers who have their money in UNB. For people who care about University’s reputation.”
Of course not everything needs to be open. But in meetings “for students only,” as was the reasoning given to our photo editor when he tried and failed to gain access, everything should – at the very least, to the publication of students, for students.