Letter of apology to the EWU community


Photo_Letter to EWU community

To view a PDF copy of the letter, please view/download it here.


Dear Readers,

We owe you an apology. As I reflect upon the nature of The Easterner’s editorial decisions regarding a column on race published on Oct. 15, I understand and accept that we, the editors, failed in our duties to be thoughtful and responsible journalists.

We also failed to understand the impact this article would have on the African-American community, Eastern students and faculty. The article lacked key facts and proper context and ignored the history of racism in America. Equally important, the column lacked student voices. The Easterner completely disregarded the principles of fair and balanced journalism and thoughtful opinion writing.

Gary Crooks, associate editor of the editorial page at The Spokesman-Review, said, “Writing an op-ed is like dipping into a river. The water has a source. What is it? Why does it flow in this direction? How has it impacted the landscape? The river doesn’t acquire meaning the moment you happen upon it. Delve deeper before writing.” The writer failed to delve deeper and had an unstable foundation when asking readers questions in relation to his standpoint about looting, the protestors and racial issues in Missouri, as well as in the U.S. overall.

At The Easterner, our mission is to inform the students, faculty, staff and nearby residents of Eastern Washington University of the governance, activities and views of the campus while providing a learning environment for students interested in journalism and related fields. All Easterner staff members are EWU students. We will continue to strive to give voice to the voiceless and to reflect our entire community. I want to ensure you that this one opinion article does not, in any way, shape or form, represent the ideas of The Easterner team or the university.

To the readers who were understandably disappointed and offended by the column, I sincerely apologize to you on behalf of The Easterner. We are changing our opinion article guidelines so columns like last week’s never appear again in our pages. It is unfortunate to have this opinion article taint the reputation of The Easterner. We are taking responsibility for our mistakes and learning from this through the EWU community. A newspaper is nothing without its readers.

We plan to learn from our misjudgment and as part of that process The Easterner staff team will be undergoing diversity and sensitivity training throughout the rest of the school year so we can be better for you, our readers. I encourage students, staff and faculty to send letters to the editor and have a conversation about this.



Nicole Ruse

Editor in Chief, The Easterner