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Letter to the editor: Lantern committed ‘shameful display of pseudo-libel’

As a student who attends The Ohio State University Dental School, I have taken special interest in the article that appeared in the Feb. 16 issue of The Lantern concerning the law suit initiated by Greg Morgan against the college and one of our most esteemed faculty, Dr. Julie Holloway. I must, under advisement of the media coordinator, refrain from commenting on the law suit as it stands, and as a consequence, I will address how the story was portrayed in The Lantern.

Students in attendance at Ohio State are ill-served by a journalistic endeavor that not only does not seek to publish content in their interest, but takes an active role in their destruction. The Lantern, in a shameful display of pseudo-libel, bordering on the journalistically immoral, implicated several students and faculty in wrongdoing, based solely on the accusations of a self-implicated disgruntled ex-patient engaged in an ongoing legal battle with the college. Not only is the information gathered non-verifiable hearsay, but the use of names in the sensational article, regardless of their veracity, irredeemably tarnishes the reputations not only of the students and faculty named, but the entire College of Dentistry.  

The standards of ethical journalism are not my specialty, and I do not begrudge The Lantern in its pursuit of the truth. That said, I believe that the intent of this article was to sensationalize the situation for publicity with no regard to the damage it would do to the students or faculty named. I believe that no person should be sacrificed to the ends of another, and on these grounds believe that it was wrong for The Lantern to implicate faculty and students of wrongdoing to achieve its own ends. The esteemed faculty mentioned, along with their student counterparts, are legally bound from defending themselves publicly. They have no power to redeem themselves publicly at this juncture, leaving this as their only defense. I hope that the readers of The Lantern will look at this case more objectively than the reports of The Lantern did.

I feel deeply let down by the paper that claims to advocate for students. The Lantern would do well to examine the damage they are doing to OSU and individuals’ reputations in the future, and perhaps try to exercise some type of journalistic standard henceforth. I understand that it, too, is a collection of work by students trying to learn their way into true journalism; so let this be a learning experience for all of us.


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