Reporting is biased, KSU chairman says   

RECORD–COURIER, December 15, 1997 

   I am appalled at the type of journalism that I have had to endure from this newspaper. There have been two stories written by the same reporter that can only be characterized as sensational and extremely biased. The first was written in late November, titled "Rally seeks ouster of KSU chairman," following the outside rally that Black United Students had at KSU. The second occurred Dec. 12, following a meeting of the Pan African Faculty and Staff Association, called by its Executive Board. The first article never even mentioned that the previous chair of Department of Pan African Studies, who is supposed to be retired was present at the rally and spoke 10 to 15 minutes, in a very profane way, verbally attacking three members of the faculty, including me. It was never reported that his remarks were extremely provocative, and could be interpreted as inciting the students to violence. The second article was written with extreme prejudice, with a total disregard of the ethics of journalism. This second article is titled, "Faculty peers: KSU department head should resign — Faculty group echoes students' request." This title, along with the comments given by the president of the Pan African Faculty and Staff Association is extremely misleading. What your viewers have not been informed about is: l) the fact that there were dissenting opinions, by some of KSU's most distinguished faculty members; 2) the general membership never approved the statement given by the president of PAFSA, and others on her board; 3) that the previous chair of Pan African Studies was there again, making unsubstantiated statements and publicly attacking my administration; and 4) the meeting was called by the presideat for the purpose of getting input and a vote from the general membership, concluded without any resolution of the issue. 
   This meeting was called for the PAFSA membership only. Hence, someone invited this reporter to this meeting. His news columns are adding further confusion and encouraging and supporting a very complex and skillfully orche- strated campaign to undermine the administra- tion and leadership of the current chair of the Department of Pan African Studies. This repor- ter did not provide his readers with sufficient information about the information that the current chair disclosed, so that they might have a proper appreciation of the accomplish- ments of his administration over the last three years. Moreover, this reporter's suggestion that I am never available for comments after these meetings is another way of misleading the reader. I am always available to clear up con- fusion, when the reporter can be trusted to write an accurate and balanced story. The board of Black United Students do not repre- sent the opinion of all black students, and neither does the opinion of the Board of PAFSA represent the views of Black Faculty and staff in general at KSU. Furthermore, there are other members of the faculty of DPAS, notable Dr. Kwame Nantambu, who have quite different views from those that have been expressed in this paper. 
   This is a story worth reporting, and the public has a right to know. Newspapers, however, have both a professional, as well as a moral, obligation to inform the public accu- rately, objectively and without exaggeration and distortion. 

George R. Garrison 
Department of Pan African Studies 
Kent State University