May 9, 2008

NEWS: College Hires Sex Offender

Reporter Cameron Fletcher's latest article in Johnson County Community College's student newspaper, The Campus Ledger, examines proposed background checks for employees.

However, what readers won't learn is that Fletcher discovered the college actually hired a registered sexual offender.

According to Fletcher's original article, the work-study employee served as administrative support for three semesters in the college's Railroad Operations department. The article also notes college administrators admit the college has no policy addressing the hiring of registered sex offenders.
Update: At the request of a source close to the situation, I've edited out an earlier comment speculating why the story didn't run. The intent of this posting is not to attack The Ledger staff (outgoing or incoming) but rather to highlight the crucial and essential skills student journalists need to edit effectively and in the voice of the reporter. That is only one of the many responsibilities an editor carries.

The source agreed to go back on the record.
Fletcher doesn't know why Ledger editors cut the information on the college employee. He wants to give them the benefit of the doubt.

"I think it had to do with space, I was slightly perturbed by it. But what are you gonna do?" he asked. "I would rather they had something else cut out instead of that. The way it was printed was kind of softball-ish."

Read Fletcher's version here.
The Ledger version here