Well, my school’s news paper, the Central Michigan Life (Central Michigan University) has sunk to a new low. In a video article titled “Voters discuss their picks for president,” (the video has since been taken down, but there are still comments at the bottom of the page) they have students saying who they voted for and used that candidate’s logo as the image. The problem came when Adam Kaminski, the video’s creator, used a logo which read, “Make Me Viagra’s Next Spokesman” on Senator McCain’s logo.
The above video is owned by the Central Michigan Life and has been posted under the Fair Use Clause of the Copyright Act of 1976.
Now, had this have been a joke, I would have no problem with it. But when it is presented as a serious news story, I find this appalling. If the video would’ve included, “Allah’s Next Great Prophet” for Senator Obama, I guarantee that people would be outraged. And they should be!
This case is just a continuing pattern of terrible journalism by the CM-Life. Let’s ignore the blatant spelling and grammar errors that a spread throughout most every issue, and look at some other cases of poor journalism:
Political columnist hack David Peterson’s article about Proposal 2, the proposal that legalized embryonic stem cell research, where he merely stated that it legalized stem cell research. There’s a huge difference between legalizing stem cell research (which are already legal) and specifically embryonic stem cell research (which was illegal, up until the passage of the Proposal).
Here’s what Peterson wrote: “I’m sure everyone in the state of Michigan has seen the ads concerning roposal 2, the decision to allow stem cell research within the state of Michigan for the purposes of discovering cures for various diseases, disorders and organ replacement procedures…”
And how many times does he mention the word embryo (or any variation of the word)? Once. In the middle of the article.
I wrote the following letter to the editor, in addition to several requests for a printed correction (a request which was never honored):
First, you have a general lack of understanding of Proposal 2. Proposal 2 does not “allow stem cell research within the state of Michigan.” Stem cell research is already allowed. Proposal 2 will allow embryonic stem cell research. That’s a pretty important fact that you managed to leave out. This has been a common “error” that proponents of proposal 2 make. Just because a person opposes embryonic stem cell research does not mean that they oppose stem cell research overall.
I think the students of CMU deserve columnists with better knowledge of the issues than this.
These 2 cases show that the CM-Life is lacking in journalism ethics. And apparently it’s lacking in editors, and I’m not just talking about editors who should’ve noticed these “mistakes.” I’m talking about editors who should catch typos like “non threatening life injury” instead of “non life threatening injury,” or the various typos that plague almost every issue of the newspaper.
I hope the editors will honor my request for a correction this time, and if not, I will have lost all respect for the newspaper. Even my liberal roommate (the other one, not the one that I normally talk about on here) agrees that this went way too far.