I am a silent but loyal reader of Arthur and after some disagreements I have had with the conduct of the newspaper I think I should finally write to you guys. Let me preface this by saying that I mostly agree with the content that the Arthur publishes; if I don’t, I still appreciate the effort and platform for discrepancy of opinion.
One aspect that irks me, however, is the journalistic integrity, or lack of, that Arthur has shown as of late. To begin with, some of your writers seem to be hot-headed when writing, exchanging formality, consideration, and respect in favour of what comes across as a tantrum. I guess the writers think they are being straightforward and honest but it is received as infantile and easily dismissive. It is counterproductive and a weak form of argument.
The last straw was the way you handled the gender neutral washroom discussion. An article that is published under your name is something you, I hope, have revised and discussed internally as being up to standard. The previous issue of Arthur had various opinions on the Student Centre washrooms, which I thought was smart. However, removing the article because of public outcry is something I did not expect and I am frankly upset it even happened. Reporting on delicate and groundbreaking issues brings with it the responsibility and acceptance of challenge and complexity. Publishing that piece was not a “mistake” – it was clearly meditated with Arthur signature with it.
Deleting that piece off the newspaper is actively suppressing another point of view, which may or may not be valid, in order to save face. Those viewpoints weren’t inflammatory, abusive, or disrespectful. Arthur can uphold its values while still presenting dissenting opinions as they are very much part of the discussion. I appreciated exactly that Arthur was reminding others of plurality of opinions, but I am starting to doubt myself on that.
I expect a newspaper to stand firm and proud of the content they feature. Once again, this is not a critique about content, but about form and integrity.
Carlos de la Guardia