Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letter to the Editor by Samson Cournane

The editorial board of The Maine Campus has voted to retract a Letter to the Editor that was published on Oct. 28, 2022.

We fully realize this retraction comprises a significant and unusual action.  However, we were alerted that the original letter did not meet the ethical standards we seek to uphold, and therefore, we no longer believe the letter meets our standards of publication. 

Specifically: We published the letter without knowing that the student who submitted it had a close relationship with a family member personally involved in the subject of the letter.  By doing so, we failed to carry out our due diligence and complete a verification process that would have revealed the letter writer’s direct personal and familial investment in the subject of the letter. 

According to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, we are ethically required to “identify sources clearly.”  As the Code of Ethics states, “The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.”  We did not provide the University of Maine community with the essential information necessary to evaluate the Letter’s assertions.  We did not completely and clearly identify the letter writer’s relationship to the subject of the letter, and, in doing so, we reduced the ability of our readership to “judge the reliability and motivation” of the student.  

We believe strongly in the ethical obligations inherent in disclosure and transparency.  In the specific case of the letter we published on Oct. 28, 2022, we were unaware of information we were ethically obligated to require from the student in order to disclose it to our readership.  We apologize for that, and will seek to do better in the future.  

Get the Maine Campus' weekly highlights right to your inbox!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...