News Briefs

Journalists consider ethics in the online ageThe future of online journalism is bright but precarious, according to three journalists who discussed media ethics in the era of the Internet Tuesday.

Newsweek reporter Peter McGrath, School of Media and Public Affairs professor Steve Roberts and Washington Post reporter John Schwartz participated in a discussion called “Sex, Lies and the Internet: Are Journalism’s Old Rules Dead?”

“While popular use of the Internet is new, sex and lies have beenwith us always,” said SMPA Director Jean Folkerts, who moderated the discussion.

Roberts, who teaches a class about the changing nature of the news business, said the rapid growth of the Internet is seeping into all parts of society.

The panelists said the possibility for false information on the Internet is much higher than in a newspaper.

“Internet reporters do not have to go through an editor or any other screening process to post news,” Schwartz said.

“You just have to use your bullshit sensor,” he said.

Overall, the panel was enthusiastic but skeptical about the futureof news on the Internet.

“I am not a Web-basher,” Roberts said. “But I do have someconcerns.”-Andrew Ganz

SA Senate-elect rejects candidates for two cabinet positionsMembers of the Student Association Senate-elect refused to confirm two of President-elect Carrie Potter’s appointees to next year’s Cabinet at their meeting Wednesday.

Marty Claessens, a freshman senator this year, was not confirmed as vice president for undergraduate policy.

Current Rules Committee Chair Philippe Rosse (SBPM) said Claessens proved skillful at outreach as a freshman senator, but did not use what he learned in the Senate to implement changes.

The Senate-elect also voted down Patrick Ledesma’s candidacy for vice president of student activities.

Some graduate senators questioned whether Ledesma, an undergraduate, could effectively advocate grad student concerns on financial issues because undergraduate and graduate student groups compete for funds.

Rosse also pointed to contradictions between Ledesma’s written application for the position and his answers to senators’ questions.

“He seems to mold his answers to what you want hear,” Rosse said.

Potter said she will bring the unconfirmed candidates up for another vote in the fall.

“These are the two best candidates for the job,” Potter said.

Lonnie Giamela will stay on as vice president for academic affairs and Brian Schoeneman will continue as vice president for judicial and legislative affairs. Jonathan Nurse was appointed vice president for public affairs and Jeff Marootian will serve as vice president for community affairs.

The vice president of financial affairs confirmation was postponed because the candidate is overseas.

A lack of applications prevented Potter from nominating a candidate for vice president of graduate affairs. She said she hopes to see more interest from graduate students for the position.

-Tammy Imhoff

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