Convergence Controversy

poll

One of the wonderful things about the internet is how easily and quickly information can be shared across any distance. While our newspaper The Loyola Phoenix doesn’t have much circulation outside of Rogers Park, it can now be read online anywhere. This enables alumni, students abroad, and anyone interested in the school to see what’s going on– which is a good thing.

Recently, however, that convenience has caused a bit of a problem at thePhoenix. While we’re a community paper as well as a student paper, there have been some comments and poll results that are not the result of student feedback.

Last issue, we published this staff editorial that was against a bill in the Illinois House of Representatives to allow concealed weapons to be carried, including on campuses. The online poll was centered on the same question.

Apparently, other websites picked up on this article, namely pro-gun sites. They began flooding the article with comments, and undertook a campaign to reverse the poll results, which had been staunchly anti-concealed weapons. The site linked wasn’t the most active, but Discourse Editor LeeAnn Maton is writing a column on this situation for this issue, and I don’t want to spoil the fun.

As Webmaster, I have to make the decision: allow the comments and votes from outsiders, or keep the feedback student-focused. For now, we’re letting it lie as it is. This is a public media outlet, after all, and the public deserves to have its say. It’s worrying, however, to think that people may get a wrong impression of the student body based on a poll that has been interfered with by outsiders.

This would never happen in print. Thoughts?

Adding to the confused tone of this post is this first track, which is making me feel a bit frantic.

I think the vocal track has been slightly altered in this second track, which is a nice touch to see on an A vs. B song.

This last track features Run DMC and The White Stripes, two bands close to my heart.

2 responses to “Convergence Controversy

  1. I think you have to give the pro-gun voters credit for their online activism. Although their site’s content is kind of laughable, their membership is obviously dedicated. I know it doesn’t take much effort to click “yes,” but the fact that so many care enough to do it is worth something.

    I don’t think you should alter or close the poll. They’re not breaking any rules. Use it in whatever editorial you’re putting out next to show how much influence special-interest groups can wield when organized. People should know that if they don’t play an active role in their community, someone else will play it for them.

    • That’s exactly what we’ve done. It seems to be the most fair/objective response.
      Plus, it means the least work for me.

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