It has to be tough to edit a college newspaper nowadays. Not only are you, the cream of the coed crop, facing horrible job prospects upon graduation, but you also must manage the tricky PC waters that is the modern-day American university e
This unenviable position is the one that Isa Ghani, editor-in-chief of Cal State Fullerton's Daily Titan currently occupies. On Sept. 22, the paper published a story regarding the then-possible passage of the DREAM Act, which would create a pathway for citizenship blah blah blah. It was a sympathetic piece headlined "Illegal Immigrants Defend Act."
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The choice of "illegal immigrant" instead of "undocumented student" infuriated many Titans, and Ghani received complaints via email, in Letters to the Editor, and over the phone from students and also the Alliance of Students for Equal Education, the main DREAM Act advocacy group on campus. Most of the complaints, according to sources who spoke with the Weekly, demanded that the Daily Titan apologize for its linguistic; some are even threatening to boycott the paper, even though the term "undocumented" was used nine times in the story as opposed to the one time the student published "illegal."
Ghani is unapologetic. "The Daily Titan does not have any plans to apologize for this particular issue," he told the Weekly. "We did check before printing any of these stories as to the accuracy and correctness of using that term and found it to be factually and journalistically sound. We found the terms 'illegal immigrant' and 'undocumented immigrant' to be similar and interchangeable.
"We regret that people have an issue with the terms used," Ghani continued. "However, we do not feel that this is a factual or journalistic error on our part--we cover news as journalists, the way it is, and as objectively and factually accurate as possible."