Editor’s Column: The Recorder Was Wrong

Daniel Fappiano, Editor-in-Chief

In our first issue of the semester, The Recorder declined to name the potential shooter on Central Connecticut’s campus. Originally, we felt that it would be better for campus safety if we removed his name from the article. In hindsight, that was a mistake.

Naming the shooter – Brandon Wagshol – is necessary for The Recorder to be a true news source. The students and faculty on campus, as well as anyone involved with CCSU, deserves to know his name.

He was named by Central President Dr. Zulma Toro and therefore should’ve been named by The Recorder as well. The student body had already known, so we did not save anyone by not listing his name. We were not functioning as if this were breaking news and therefore gained nothing by not naming Wagshol.

If anything were to happen, the readers deserve to know the identity of the person they should be worried about. His name and face should be shown so that people know exactly who the shooter is.

From a humane standpoint, not naming the shooter is more harmful to the surrounding area than refusing to say his name at all.

From a journalistic standpoint, The Recorder is a student newspaper. It was unfair to compare The Recorder to Anderson Cooper. We are not on the same scale as him and therefore needed to compare our decision of keeping Wagshol nameless to that of colleges like Eastern, Southern and Western Connecticut University.

Furthermore, the medium in which we work makes it necessary to name the shooter. The Recorder’s job is to report on the news about CCSU and as Wagshol was potentially planning a mass murder on campus it is therefore news. It was irresponsible to remove some of the most important facts of the story: his name and face.

Going forward, our plan is to never make this mistake again; we plan to revisit our report on Wagshol and will look to do better in reporting that story. Also, we will choose to use shooters names while discussing stories of greater context.

Overall, as a newspaper it is our duty to not leave any stone unturned. Removing his name leaves quite possibly the biggest boulder face down.

As an editor, I apologize for letting the readership down. I hope that for however long my tenure lasts, The Recorder functions completely journalistically and keeps all the facts in tact.

I hope going forward, as a staff, we continue to grow and improve all the functions of The Recorder on a week-to-week basis.