On Monday afternoon, we listened to the first episode of “Right on Point” along with the rest of the community. The intention of the podcast was to provide a forum for various political perspectives, and the first episode was meant to highlight how the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative relates to diversity of opinion. However, while we listened to the podcast, we were shocked and confused by statements clearly not aligned with the values of our community.
Previous podcasts on the Chronicle Podcast Network have been entirely dedicated to sports coverage, and there was no structured editing process beyond a review by the sports editors. The Management Team did not listen to the podcast until after it had been published. By that point, we were faced with a difficult decision, and we decided not to take the podcast down. The podcast already had hundreds of listens, and we did not want to silence an opinion that had already been publicly expressed.
As a news source, the Chronicle values free speech. But there is a line between free speech and offensive speech. While the podcast emphasizes that the opinions expressed do not reflect those of the Chronicle, we take ownership for providing a platform for hurtful remarks and not properly challenging statements stated as fact.
While the aim of the podcast is to provide an outlet for diverse ideologies on campus, we do not believe the opinions expressed in the episode represent widely held views. In our Diversity Issue last year, we celebrated different religions, races, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses and political stances. We hope in the future this podcast will do the same by allowing students and faculty members of varying backgrounds to speak their minds in a respectful and thoughtful way. With a stricter editing process and a more directed approach, we believe it can serve our goal as journalists to facilitate necessary dialogues on campus.
As a news publication, it is our priority to report the unbiased and accurate truth. We believe in the positive changes discourse can lead to and look forward to furthering open, yet respectful, conversations.