To our readers and members of the Western community

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To our readers and members of the Western community,

In response to concerns from students, faculty, administration, and citizens about the publication of The Gazette’s annual Spoof Issue on March 30, 2007, we have implemented a number of changes effective May 31, 2007.

- We have completed a Journalistic Code of Ethics after consulting Professor Romayne Smith-Fullerton in addition to professional journalists and journalism associations.
- We have scheduled formal equity training with Equity Services on July 11, 2007 for our editors.
- We have implemented a formal Complaints Policy based on recommendations and input from the Ombudsperson Adrienne Clark.
- We have drafted an Editorial Policy and Procedures outlining the policies and procedures governing the operations of The Gazette.
- We have contacted numerous media professionals and faculty, including Gazette alumni, who have agreed to act as mentors. We set up an Advisory Board with a clear composition, structure, and mandate to advise The Gazette and to oversee the Complaints Policy and the Editorial Policy.
- We have established the composition, mandate, and structure of the Study Group.

We are committed to the full implementation of these policies and initiatives at The Gazette. All of the policies listed above will be made available to the public on our website.

We learned a hard lesson after the publication of the Spoof Issue about the power of the written word for good and bad and about the limits of good taste and free speech.

Responsible journalism and sound editorial policies must ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. We will stay true to the traditions of The Gazette passed down for generations, but we will also work toward a better Gazette.

As an independent student newspaper we have an important role on campus to report the news, entertain readers, provoke debate, and challenge administration and student government. We do not take this role lightly, but rather recognize and respect the trust between The Gazette and its readership. We have been lucky to enjoy significant support from the Western community and we hope we can continue to count on that support.

We welcome the Western community to visit our offices whether they are interested in volunteering, giving us feedback or a tip on a story, or seeing what goes into putting together Canada’s only daily student newspaper.

Sincerely,
Allison Buchan-Terrell - Editor-in-Chief
Brice Hall - Deputy Editor
James Hayes - Managing Editor

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