Readers are entitled to trust Daily’s reporting

We are students, and although we refuse to use that status as a crutch, we are always learning.

Today’s announcement that The Minnesota Daily has evidence of plagiarism in a June 2003 article written by then-freelancer Adam Mayorga and published in the Daily represents an embarrassment to this newspaper.

And the recently corrected report by Nathan Hall – in which a combination of mistakes led the reporter to make the incorrect claim that 55 layoffs were “imminent” in a University department – illustrates how easily journalists can obliterate the facts.

Both incidents point to the imperative value of accuracy in journalism and the correspondingly integral role of the reader-journalist trust relationship.

Chip Scanlan, a noted journalist writing for the Poynter Institute, said editors should hold themselves to a higher standard.

“Trust is important, but it’s the bond between a news organization and its consumers that trumps the relationship between the people who produce the report, however arduous and painful that makes the process.”

Arduous and painful though that process might be, it’s something to which we as journalists have committed ourselves.

As a final point, it might be worth noting that we have always strived to work as hard as we can to get the story right, and we will continue doing our best to bring readers top-notch journalism.

We profoundly understand the damage mistakes like these can make. But we’re also students, and though we refuse to use that status as a crutch, it’s a reality. As students, we’re always learning, and with learning, we make mistakes.

Regardless, we must answer for those mistakes.

The Minnesota Daily’s readers are entitled to trust our reporting. To that end, our editors and reporters owe an apology to the readers and a promise to redouble our efforts to get the story right.

And so, please accept our apology.

Shane Hoefer welcomes comments at [email protected]