Volume 90, Issue 81

Tuesday, February 18, 1997



Election coverage blasted!

Re: election centrespread, Feb. 11

To the editor:

I was more than a little bit dismayed at The Gazette's election coverage in the Feb. 11 issue. I didn't think it was fair that each candidate was graded on their campaigns by a panel of 10 Gazette staff members.

Sadly, a vast number of Western students likely received the majority of their election information from The Gazette and so, many ultimately headed into the voter's booth with little more than The Gazette's preferences to go on. It is the responsibility of the newspaper to remain unbiased in its election coverage and Tuesday's feature was certainly not carrying out this responsibility.

The blatant and frankly patronizing star system used to grade the candidates was detrimental to those who received poor marks, especially so close to election time. Although many of these criticisms may be well-founded, The Gazette should have given the student body enough credit to decide for itself.

In the accompanying editorial, The Gazette stated that it is up to each voter to dissect the literature themselves, talk to the candidates and focus on the issues. It seems strange to me that a newspaper so intent on promoting the individual's right to choose can turn around and practically say who it thinks we should vote for. Had the feature been printed without the juvenile grading scheme, it would have forced more people to read the candidate summaries and formulate a basic idea of what each of the presidential contestants stood for.

The feature that was published was unprofessional and unsuitable for a newspaper of The Gazette's magnitude and I hope the majority of Western voters were able to see through the ranking system far enough to formulate their own opinions.

Mark Pytlik
Social Science I

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997