Fully disclosing the affiliations of a Letter to the Editor contributor

It recently came to our attention that we did not fully disclose the affiliations of one of our Letter to the Editor contributors.

On Monday, July 11, 2011, we published a letter by Julia Gettle, who identified herself to us as a UC Berkeley third-year undergraduate history major. Only after publication did we discover that, at the time,  she was an intern for the University of California’s State Governmental Relations Office. She also was and continues to be the chief of staff of the Berkeley branch of the UC Student Regents’ Office, a member of the Dean of Students’ Advisory Council and the undergraduate representative to the UC Berkeley Academic Senate Committee on Academic Freedom.

It may be worth noting that after we published Gettle’s letter, UC President Mark Yudof tweeted his support for her message:

mark_yudof Mark G. Yudof  on.fb.me/rndXJ8 @ucberkeley student Julia Gettle is spot on in this excellent letter to the editor in the @dailycal #ucforca 12 Jul

We seek to be transparent and accountable in everything we do and work to ensure the proper and thorough disclosure of the affiliations of every source that appears in our paper. Readers have a right to know the background and interests behind the people whose ideas and thoughts they read.

We apologize for this oversight and have instituted additional measures and safeguards to ensure that it does not happen again.

Gettle’s letter was published as part of our effort to reinvigorate the Letters to the Editor portion of our opinion page and offer the opportunity for students and community members to share their thoughts in an engaging forum. We anticipate encountering many similar situations as we accept more and more letters from readers in the future as part of our continued effort. We encourage readers to be transparent in their submissions, so that we can preserve and foster an honest and open exchange of ideas.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Tomer Ovadia
Editor in Chief and President
The Daily Californian
P: 510-548-8300
F: 510-849-2803
[email protected]

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