Response to criticisms of Miss Sam Houston story
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 18:02
In the Thursday, Feb. 28 issue of the Houstonian, we published an article titled “Miss Sam Houston Pageant 2013” that has a few issues that need to be addressed.
First, I want to congratulate Shanece Smith, the Miss Sam Houston winner, because that’s what she deserves. Her victory broke barriers for other young women who don’t fit the stereotype of pageant life. After listening to her speak, it was clear that she deserves not only the Miss SHSU crown, but to hold the dual role of Miss Huntsville. This should’ve been your day. Instead, it was muddled by unclear writing due to a lack of proper editing.
I personally apologize for the unclear reporting that gave the story unintended connotations that this particular pageant may have been fixed so that a minority student won. As the editor, I should have read the story before it was published, and it’s completely my responsibility for what is published. Unfortunately, the story slipped through late on a busy deadline night, and I wasn’t able to edit it as I usually am able to do. That being said, had there been reports of pageant fixing or racial bias, we would’ve covered them with absolutely no hesitation.
Racial bias and pageant fixing are two (among other) topics that are common criticisms in the pageant world, and it was commendable that the reporter chose to follow her curiosity to ensure that this pageant was done so fairly, which according to the story’s sources, it was. The words the reporter used though made her intentions and reporting unclear. Ultimately, it is my responsibility, and I apologize for it.
Our staff strives to publish the most accurate and informative journalism, but sometimes mistakes are made. As students, we take these mistakes and turn them into life lessons. We’ve learned our lesson here.
I encourage anyone who wants to comment further on the matter to email me at email@example.com. In addition, our policy is to allow any letters to the editor, or general columns that the public wants to send so long as they don’t have inaccurate information. You may send those letters or columns to Viewpoints Editor Misti Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.