ATO article lacking in research, facts

The Ball State Daily News has crossed lines, or should I say erased lines. In journalism, there is a fine and delicate line that separates opinion from fact. If this line is not completely respected and carefully observed, credibility is compromised, and as we all know, credibility makes or breaks the press.

I write in regards to the June 3rd article "Greek opinion varies on cause of money issues" written by Andrew Zeigert. With a title like that, how can you be taken seriously? Sure, other people may disagree with why ATO had money problems, but shouldn't the very members of that organization know what's really going on? I guess an explanation coming from the president of the organization wasn't enough for Mr. Zeigert, who felt compelled enough to go out and get gossip to present as fact in an unneeded follow up story. To my understanding, the Daily News was not the National Inquirer until as of late.

Mr. Zeigert shows a disregard for fact over opinion in his reporting. Sources indirectly or otherwise completely not involved in the situation involving ATO's status are repeatedly quoted in the article.

I find it curious how either officer of IFC could comment on the "true" reason for ATO's demise since neither of them were at any meeting we had with the university as I can recall.

I am quoted in passing once in the second paragraph, then beaten down over the course of the rest of the article by persons whom Zeigert obviously feels are more credible than I.

The article is researched terribly. Proof is given by the quote from Tony Billoto, IFC President, "ATO's moving out was caused by poor management by their alumni housing corporation." If Zeigert practiced good journalism skills, he would have made a stated effort to contact our housing corp. president. No contact was made which led to blatant libel of this individual.

The quote from Adam Fisher was the kicker: "ATO's closing had nothing to do with lack of interest or declining members, it was purely their financial situation that did them in." Again, research. Our numbers have been steadily dropping for the past five years. This deficit in members directly translates to a deficit in our budget. The lack of this basic logic both disgusts and worries me.

Why was this article even written? It presented nothing but opinions, which were presented as facts, it accomplished nothing in informing the public of anything except that rumors exist, and it has done nothing but broken the Daily News' credibility.

Mr. Zeigert's article is an embarrassment to the journalism world and if the Daily News wants to keep its status as a professional newspaper, the editors better start doing their job because right now, the paper is doing an excellent job at lining the bottom of my aunt's birdcage.

Glen Warren

President, Alpha Tau Omega