Authentic interviews crucial for journalism

By on November 14, 2007

A tragedy is about to occur within the Quinnipiac community. A community that was once democratic will shortly turn into a dictatorship, with the Public Relations department taking the role of dictator. Once the administration takes action, a new policy will will basically state that all students who wish to interview an administrator must first e-mail their questions to John Morgan, the Associate Vice President for Public Relations.

This could be an interview for a specific class, or an interview by an organization. Once the questions have been e-mailed, it is the assumption that they will be reviewed by Morgan and sent out to the interviewee. The interviewee will then answer the questions, e-mail them back to Morgan, who will then forward the answers back to the interviewer.


This is with the hope that Morgan found every answer to be within the “university’s best interest” of course. And what happens if an answer is not in the “best interest” of the university? Will the journalists of Quinnipiac University be receiving altered interviews?

As a senior print journalism major, part of my education has been based around interviews with administrators. From freshman year until now, the interviewing process has been one of the greatest learning experiences I have received. This experience has better prepared me for my required communications internship at The Hartford Courant, as well as for the rapid approaching real-world.

Examples of this new policy already in place can be found in two articles from The Chronicle’s Nov. 7 edition. The article “Web Advisor blackout” was written close to deadline due to its newsworthiness, and as stated in the last sentence of the story, “Reached close to press time a university spokesperson was unable to respond.” News at Quinnipiac will soon lose its timeliness, or will keep getting reported with no comment from the people who have a say.

In the opinion article, “North lot closed for residents on the weekends,” the reporter attempted to contact head of security, but was referred to John Morgan. Who knew Morgan was in charge of so many facets within the university?

With the start of a new policy requiring an e-mail exchange for interviews, the administration is taking away the heart of journalism. Students will no longer be able to complete required assignments. They will lose the experience of speaking to important individuals, and how to go about certain real life situations. It seems that the university is inadvertently placing itself in the beginning phases of weaning out the Journalism program. For what? To keep up a certain image?

As students of this university we need to take a stand. We need to speak out against this policy and everything it stands for. We are here to learn and the administration involved in this new plan is unaware of how valuable the interview process is for communications students and the general community.

As students of Quinnipiac University, now is the time to make a change. The dictator has spoken, and there is not much time left before he takes away the voice of the students.


About Jennifer Dionisio