We asked our HuffPost College news network for their reactions to the Huckabee scandal. The testimonials we received agreed on two things: The Perspective ought to post an unedited transcript of the interview, and Huckabee was out of bounds.
Here's what our editors had to say:
While I'm sure that the staff of The Perspective acted with all due professionalism, a sad reality of the college newspaper industry is that credibility is not assumed, and can be lost in an instant. Whereas if the Washington Post or New York Times are criticized in such a public manner they can shrug it off, no college paper enjoys such a luxury.
It is also critical, when handling stories with a national focus -- which can be few and far between for a college newspaper -- to stay away from sensationalism or from framing the story in a way that may skew the reader's perception of an interview. It would be highly unfortunate if this incident dissuaded Huckabee or similar figures from granting access to college papers, even though The Perspective has handled the fallout with admirable grace and professionalism.
-Asher Smith, Editor, The Emory Wheel
The Perspective would have been better off presenting this as a straight interview. This would have eliminated the opportunity for Huckabee to accuse the author of taking his quotes out of context. Huckabee is charismatic and dynamic and that shows in his quotes -- no matter how backwards you feel he is - and his interview can therefore stand alone. Sometimes journalists feel the need to insert their own writing into what is innately interesting interview material -- maybe to prove that they are capable of more than transcribing. This can lead to questionable summarizations and, honestly, a less intriguing story.
-Caleb Melby, Co-News Editor, North By Northwestern
Huckabee's quotes may very well have been taken out of context, but the most outrageous of his comments would be offensive in any context. The Perspective, however, should allow readers to judge for themselves and, if possible, post audio of the entire interview. For the sake of avoiding charges of sensationalism, the editors of The Perspective may consider giving some attention to Huckabee's comments about other topics (the "candid and frank conversation with the group about health care, education, the economy and national security" that Huckabee claims took place), as well.
-Keenan Weatherford, Editor, The Cornell Daily Sun
I find it unfortunate that a public official -- who aspires to be president -- would direct such a comment towards a student. If the journalists indeed erred as Huckabee alleged, is dropping their career plans the most sensible response for them? Are we not where we are right now to learn? To me, the college experience has provided an incredible amount of experiences and opportunities to improve myself as a journalist. At no point have I given up on my goals because of a error made nor have I ever expected a person in a leadership role to advise me to do so.
-Stephen Montemayor, Editor, The University Daily Kansan