Is this the big overlooked issue?
Were the authors of the Atlantic article about CUNY violating journalism ethics in not saying their institution competes with CUNY?
At this first stage of the hearing, I bang my gavel down and say, Yes.
It seems that the thrust of the discussion so far about that Atlantic article (which beats up on CUNY for allegedly not treating black and Latino applicants with progressive concern about the need for student diversity) is whether the piece is so error-laden that it should be trashed.
But we should also be looking at other questions having to do with how journalists should behave.
We have two simple related facts here that on their face don't look good.
The article about CUNY is about as hard hitting and accusatory as can be. And the article is written by journalists affiliated with Columbia University.
LynNell Hancock, one of the writers, is a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which arguably could be considered a competitor with CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism.
Take out the word "arguably."
The other writer, Meredith Kolodner, is said to be with The Hechinger Report.
Note: The website of the Heckinger Report says it is "an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based at Teachers College, Columbia University."
Taking an even more affirmative (excuse the word) position on the disclosure duties of journalists (especially in this age in which we're demanding more transparency), we might even demand the following:
That the writers address whether Columbia - specifically, say, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism - has faults, perhaps serious ones, when it comes to the topic of diversity.
I do know there there have been concerns expressed that the numbers of blacks at the Columbia J school have been down in recent years. (I'll have to check, but I think I may have even done a FB update about it. Excuse my senility.)
So rather than ramble, let me say this:
One, I do believe that the writers should have made their connections to Columbia more clear, perhaps even have had it at the top of the stories.
And, in so doing, it might have been helpful also to address whether there are serious questions being raised by critics about Columbia's policies.
Now for my own disclosure:
I am a proud graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
I teach at Brooklyn College, a CUNY campus. I was once, for several years, editor of CUNY Matters, a publication under CUNY's Office of Communications and Marketing.
Last - but certainly not least - both Brooklyn College and Columbia have pissed me off on topics related to diversity!