Monday, April 22, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 135



Editor in chief must be a journalist

Brad Sebastian

The debate over who will be chosen as the next editor in chief of The Daily Cougar has revolved around many issues that seem to be skirting
one significant observation:

Racism, perceived racism, administrative protocol and ideology seem to be the driving forces in this battle for The Cougar's top spot.

What about qualifications?

The editor in chief of Houston's second largest daily paper has to be a competent journalist.

Regardless of how long either candidate has worked for a newspaper or how fantastic a wordsmith either student is, one fact is getting lost in
the shuffle.

One candidate figured out how to apply and what it took to apply and did the necessary leg work to submit a qualified application.

Any other would-be candidates weren't sure about the rules, didn't know all the facts and regulations and missed the original application

All other things being equal, the debate should end there. 

Knowing the facts, learning the rules and making deadlines are elementary to being a journalist.

If a potential candidate wasn't sure about the rules, he or she should have asked. That's what journalists do ask questions.

The first thing a reporter is taught is to be accurate, inquisitive and thorough.

It is ludicrous that consideration is being given to any candidates who lack the fundamental skills necessary to be an effective journalist. 

The editor in chief position is essentially the highest-ranking journalist at a newspaper. If that person is not competent enough to dig up the
ground rules for applying for the position, why would anyone expect them to be competent enough to run the entire paper?

Although I am a writer for The Daily Cougar, I have no motive to speak out for one candidate or the other. I don't really know any of them. It's just
abundantly clear that one of the candidates is qualified while any others who applied after the original deadline are not.

Sebastian, a post-baccalaureate 
communication student, can be reached via

To contact the Opinon Section Editor, send e-mail to

To contact other members of 
The Daily Cougar Online staff, 


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