Statement From Washington Square News

Cole Stallone, Editor-in-Chief

WSN has retracted an article, “NYU Must Compensate Its Medical Workers Fairly,” which was published by our Opinion Desk on April 17, 2020 and has received a substantial response from the community. I would like to take this opportunity to address some of the criticism the piece has faced as well as our reasoning for retracting the article.

To speak to the criticism the author of the piece received directly, the personal attacks on the writer are misplaced and the criticism should be focused on their work alone. Any criticism that amounts to individual insults against a writer is disappointing and uncalled for. This is especially true when these criticisms come from professionals with substantial influence and authority toward an undergraduate student journalist. 

Speaking as a former Opinion Editor and Deputy Opinion Editor who has worked for WSN under two different Editors-in-Chief before myself, Deputy Opinion Editors frequently write opinion articles we publish. These are the individual opinions of the members of our editorial board, which in no way represent the institutional opinion of WSN. Given that the position of the author has been criticized, it feels important to clarify this. To that point, the bottom of every individually-written opinion article reads: “Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.” This note is included regardless of the writer’s position on the staff. This note was written at the bottom of the article in question, so no fair assessment of the article could consider it to be the opinion of WSN as a whole. Further, no opinion article should be seen as representative of our reporting. The only pieces published under the Opinion Desk without this note are Letters from the Editor and House Editorials, which are the only pieces that represent the institutional opinion of the paper. 

Finally, I would also like to address the overwhelming criticism the piece has received, which has mainly focused on medical supplies at NYU Langone. It was unfortunate that this was the focus of a majority of the criticism, and even more so given only a few individuals addressed the issue of hazard pay for medical workers, the core focus of the article. Having said that, we recognize that some claims in the article were not substantiated by the sources linked nor by any reporting WSN has done yet. We issued a correction on the piece that addressed the major focus of the criticism. However, we have decided to retract the piece rather than continue to correct additional issues. I apologize that the issues in this piece were not addressed prior to publication.

We remain committed to following this story, as well as any other that is important to our community and to our readers. I encourage anyone who has a perspective they want to share to do so. At WSN, there are a variety of ways in which we try to elevate voices that need to be heard. 

Anyone can contact our News Desk at [email protected] if they would like to share information that they believe others should know. Anyone can also reach our Opinion Desk at [email protected] for the opportunity to share their perspective in their own words, whether it be in the form of a Letter to the Editor in response to an article or an op-ed of their own. Finally, as always, if anyone would like to share anything privately, please feel free to reach me at [email protected]. In this time of crisis, we remain committed to pursuing our work with thorough reporting and well-informed opinions to address the issues that matter to us, as student journalists, and to our community at large.  

– Cole Stallone, Editor-in-Chief