Much like his reporting, Josh Mitchell’s response to my critique of his lackluster and misleading article is completely underwhelming. As most of you know, last week I wrote an open letter to Josh Mitchell of the Wall Street Journal following the release of his article entitled, “Grad-School Loan Binge Fans Debt Worries.” As a graduate student borrower, I felt compelled to respond.
You can check out all of my tweets to him here.
I, for one, am disappointed in his response. The smugness is palpable. I am not surprised by his dismissive response, or the lack of response from the editor at the Wall Street Journal (even though I courteously emailed my article to him). My lack of surprise, however, does not mean this is an acceptable practice for the media.
We deserve better reporters.
I do not want to leave any doubt in Mr. Mitchell’s mind. I was not providing him feedback. I was providing him with the truth and the facts. This is what some would call the proverbial b*tch slap. He failed to do his job.
As an attorney, I am held to a very high professional standard. If I lied to my clients or misled my clients–even at the direction of a senior partner–I could lose my license. I acknowledge that a lawyer’s job is not exactly like a reporter, but both jobs are essential to our democracy.
Why do we not hold our media to a higher standard? Why do we allow them to shape the conversation about problems that they know nothing about? Should they go unanswered when they fail to do their job with integrity, or at the very least, accurate citations, attributions, and facts?
It is time for student borrowers, and the people who love them, to change the conversation and correct the misinformation. If you would like to contact Josh Mitchell at the Wall Street Journal, you can find him on twitter by clicking HERE and via email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if you find misleading articles regarding the student loan crisis, or you want to share your student loan story, please send them to me via my Facebook page. I look forward to hearing from you.
I leave you with this:
I promise to keep screaming. Who’s with me?