The Daily Nexus, the student newspaper for the University of California, Santa Barbara, retracted an endorsement for a student election.
The Nexus said that its “endorsement process was not appropriately carried out for all candidates for this position.” The April 16 retraction states:
“In an effort to ensure the most fair evaluation process takes place moving forward, the Nexus will not be issuing an endorsement for the position until further notice. The Daily Nexus sincerely apologizes to the candidates for this position and to the student body for this error and asks for their patience and understanding moving forward.”
News editor Peter Mounteer told iMediaEthics what went wrong. According to Mounteer’s e-mail to iMediaEthics, sent to iMediaEthics by the Nexus‘s editor-in-chief, the newspaper interviewed Kimia Hashemian for an endorsement but failed to interview her opponent.
“I was the supervising editor and mistakenly thought her opponent had dropped out, and that she was running unopposed,” Mounteer wrote. “When we realized the next day that this was not the case, it became obvious that we could not let the endorsement stand as it was fundamentally unfair to the opponent, who did not have a chance to represent himself at all to us before our endorsement for Hashemian was issued.”
The Nexus retracted its endorsement and interviewed her opponent, Zach Goulhiane, who the newspaper thought was a “better fit for the position.”
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Mounteer said a member of the Associated Students Elections Commission informed the newspaper of its error.
The original endorsement article, which endorses several candidates for student elections, has been updated to delete the section that has been retracted — the endorsement for Kimia Hashemian for Internal Vice President.
An “update” at the bottom of the article reads: “[Update: A portion of this article regarding the Internal Vice President endorsement has been retracted. For more information please see the retraction.]”
iMediaEthics has reached out to Hashemian, the student affected by the retraction, via social media.
Last year, the Daily Nexus retracted a satirical article that said terrorist group ISIS took control of a residence hall, as iMediaEthics reported. The article “ISIS seizes FT, Establishes Gauco Caliphate” was unpublished.