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Editorial: An apology to the Athens County Food Pantry and our readers

At the center of journalism is fairness and balance. Those ethical pillars drive every story, interview and so on. Through those ethics, journalism’s No. 1 mission, above all else, is to give the unfiltered truth to the people. 

This past week, The Post failed at this and did not live up to the ethical standards of journalism. 

It was discovered that a member of The Post fabricated several quotes and facts regarding a story about Joe Burrow’s cleat auction and his work with the Athens County Food Pantry. This writer’s actions and deception defied not only our policies at The Post but also those of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct. 

This was not only damaging to the integrity of the Athens County Food Pantry but also to the trust we at The Post have created with our readers.

Disciplinary action will be taken toward that staff member. A fully corrected article has been published with the correct facts and accurate quotes to showcase all the great work the Athens County Food Pantry has done for Southeast Ohio. 

To simply apologize doesn’t right the wrongdoings of this incident. The Post is home to award-winning journalism, and the staff here is responsible for that, but this past week didn’t reflect that. We will do better. The Post’s editors put a great amount of trust in their staff members, and through this incident, that trust was broken. 

Therefore, The Post will be implementing stricter policies and practices, including a mandatory recording of interviews, other than those with extenuating circumstances. Furthermore, all editors will be stressing the importance of these journalism ethics and the brevity of this situation. Our staff is made up of students learning the ins and outs of journalism and mistakes will be made, but there’s no room for fabrication, plagiarism, negligence, mistreatment, etc. at The Post.  

We at The Post are deeply sorry for any and all damage this error has caused, and we are adamantly working to rectify and repair the trust of those impacted. 

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Molly Schramm, Managing Editor Baylee DeMuth and Digital Managing Editor Matthew Geiger. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.

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