Granite Bay Today

Letter to the Editor: Responsible and Credible Sourcing


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Dear Editors,

I’m writing regarding  the article titled “GBHS community responds to a rising controversy,” detailing staff and student responses to the Charlottesville, Virginia, violence at the white supremacists/nationalist rally, written by Juan Pablo Flores.

In the article the author describes white nationalists chanting Nazi slogans and claims that “masked ANTIFA supporters present at the overnight removal of Confederate statues at the University of Texas last August were reportedly chanting extremist slogans including ‘death to America,’ ” and I found this claim about ANTIFA surprising because I followed these events fairly closely and never heard of it.

Upon researching, I could only find one source supporting this claim, coming from InfoWars, run by Alex Jones. This media outlet has a history of unreliable, significantly biased reporting, often including outrageous and untrue claims and conspiracy theories.

If this is indeed the “report” that the author, Juan, is referencing, it is tremendously suspect in addition to being grossly embellished and exaggerated. If there is some other evidence to support the ANTIFA claim, please direct me to it.

This claim seems clearly intended to equate the Nazi chants from alt-right white nationalists with those of leftist ANTIFA members, however to do so is tremendously misleading and leads me to question the journalistic integrity of the article.

Please let me know what the position of the author and the Gazette is on this issue.

Respectfully,

Andrew Phillips
Science teacher

The Editors respond:

The Granite Bay Gazette’s policy is that we do not use extreme right or left websites as sources because they are quite often journalistically irresponsible. In this case, however, Mr. Phillips is correct — the information he cites as questionable was first “reported” in InfoWars, a notoriously unreliable website — and nowhere else. 

We have since reviewed with our entire staff what our expectations are for the use of credible and responsible sources in our stories, and we’ve given our staff a list of sources that are NOT approved — including InfoWars. We are also requiring all our staffers to list their sources for all stories in their rough drafts to help us confirm that our work is based on credible sourcing. 

We appreciate that Mr. Phillips took the time to bring this to our attention. His vigilance makes us more cognizant of our shortcomings and ultimately makes us into a better newspaper.

Sincerely,

McKenna Aram, Katie Cologna, Brayden Johnk, Steph Kang and Sabina Mahavni

Gazette/GraniteBayToday.org co-editors-in-chief

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Letter to the Editor: Responsible and Credible Sourcing