It has come to the editors’ attention that a news article published in this week’s edition of The Student contained a fabricated quotation from an official in the National Union of Students.
The article, concerning an internal investigation into institutional racism at the organisation, was written by one of our news writers. It contained a quote on the proceedings purporting to be from Chief Executive Simon Blake. The passage and quote in question read:
Although an investigation is still ongoing, the overall impact of the situation “has dented the NUS temporarily”, according to the Chief Executive of the organisation, Simon Blake.
Blake revealed to The Student that “this is not the first time allegations have been made regarding discrimination within the union, as in the past 10 months there have been several other allegations made, but were unsuccessful in being furthered into a formal investigation.”
Blake issued a letter to all NUS committee members in September, highlighting how the investigation will subsequently be handled. He told The Student: “An impending review will be asked to explore and understand whether there is evidence of direct and indirect racism within the NUS’s culture, systems, policies, processes and structures and make recommendations about any changes we can make to ensure we fulfil our commitment to being an organisation that is truly fair, open, accessible and representative of all.”
We have subsequently discovered that Mr Blake was not in fact interviewed by the writer of the article, nor did any correspondence between him and our writer take place. The above quotations are therefore false and misrepresentative, and we have since removed the article in question from our website.
We have contacted the writer and confirmed that the quotes were a fabrication. Consequently, the person in question is no longer writing for The Student.
We deeply and sincerely apologise for this error. The Student takes journalistic ethics and standards seriously, and we are subsequently reviewing and updating our procedures with regards to compiling news articles and establishing the validity of our writers’ sources.