The News takes the criticism in David Swensen’s March 1 op-ed, “The endowment & the activists,” very seriously. We have looked into Swensen’s claims and have issued a correction to the two paragraphs in our Feb. 5 story that his column addresses. The News strives to report responsibly and accurately on campus issues, including Yale’s endowment, and we are always open to publishing criticism of our work in hopes of facilitating constructive conversations with readers about our coverage and mission. Swensen, however, has not agreed to an on-the-record interview with the News in years. Our reporters are trained to cover every side of important campus debates, but that task becomes more difficult when key sources refuse to explain their positions.
The online version of Swensen’s op-ed now contains a line that the News originally did not publish because it is incorrect. Swensen wrote that the reporter of the Feb. 5 story did not contact Yale’s Investments Office before the story’s publication when, in fact, the reporter did. The News omitted this line even though Swensen had asked that his column — which criticizes the News for failing to check facts — not be edited before publication.
After learning the line had been omitted, Swensen criticized the decision as “disgusting” and “inexcusable” in a series of emails to News editors, one of whom he called “a coward.” “Don’t you understand simple English?” he asked in one email. “What is the matter with you?” In a national climate in which journalists have increasingly come under attack, we are disheartened that a Yale administrator considers this an appropriate way to voice concerns to the News.
Rachel Treisman, Editor in Chief & President
Jacob Stern, Managing Editor
David Yaffe-Bellany, Managing Editor
Jonathan Greenberg, University News Editor
Zainab Hamid, University News Editor