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Jim Ryan is a senior studying journalism and political science and editor-in-chief of The Post

From the Editor's Desk: ‘Post’ taking steps to ensure photo accuracy after error

Following the serious mishap in Wednesday's paper, The Post is working on improving accuracy, especially with photographs.

The Post published a mistake in Wednesday’s newspaper that, at the time, I described as “cringe-inducing” and “idiotic.”

Two days later, my feelings haven’t softened.

We published a file photo featuring members of the Restart ticket from this spring’s Student Senate elections: Megan Marzec, Caitlyn McDaniel and Jolana Watson. The problem: We mislabeled Watson as current Student Senate Treasurer Zainab Kandeh. The larger problem: Watson and Kandeh are both black women, and it appears as if The Post doesn’t know the difference between them.

This, assuredly, is not the case. The mistake was one that stemmed from a lack of thoroughness from our editorial staff. It is an isolated incident that is not indicative of systemic racial insensitivity.

Here, in brief, is how Wednesday’s mistake came to be:

- An editor selected a Student Senate file photo from last spring to run alongside a preview of Wednesday’s meeting.

- A photo caption misidentifying Watson was written by a Post editor.

- That error was not realized by additional editors throughout our publication process and ran online and in print Wednesday.

This is also not the first time this semester The Post has mislabeled photos. Incidents that come to mind involve students of varying gender and skin color. While that doesn’t make me feel better about Wednesday’s mistake, I hope it helps readers realize that mistakes happen despite our efforts to eliminate them. Furthermore, some errors are more noticeable than others.

We are taking steps to correct this problem.

As of Wednesday night, we have instituted a more thorough fact-checking system for photos, where editors cross-examine all photos using internal records and online searches to confirm the accuracy of our captions.

Additionally, we will take a new photo of Marzec, McDaniel and Kandeh, if they will accommodate us, and stop publishing the Restart photo. It is outdated and should not have been used in this capacity.

In short, this was a mistake. It’s a mistake that has greater consequences than most because of the perception of our error — both internally and among our readers.

The Post is committed to accuracy and fairness, and we will strive to continually uphold the high standards expected of us.

As always, thanks for reading.

Jim Ryan is a senior studying journalism and political science and editor-in-chief of The Post. Want to sound off on this issue? Contact him at or on Twitter at @Jimryan015

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