Medill senior and former public editor of the Daily Northwestern, David Spett, wrote a column that appeared in the Daily on Monday that suggests the dean’s extensive use of anonymous sources gives us cause to be suspicious.
On Tuesday night, the Chicago Reader published a blog entry that built on Spett’s column, stating:
[Spett's] not alone. Faculty sources who prefer not to be named for obvious reasons tell me that some of them suspected the quotes were bogus, but beyond grousing among themselves they did nothing to act on their suspicions. As far as they know, Spett was the first person to confront the dean. “There are people on the faculty who are very nervous,” one source said.
The two pieces have been picked up by Romenesko in the past hour and will certainly bring more attention to this issue in the coming days.
Ever since John Lavine’s less than typical promotion to dean of the Medill School of Journalism took place in 2006, there have been several articles concerning the ability of the ex-director of the Media Management Center to run a J-school. Maybe in advertising it’s OK, but in journalism, we don’t fabricate quotations. Is the dean about to learn a lesson from a proactive student?