March 1, 2012 This is our second week up on running. We are right on deadline and this week our theme is difference. By taking up this theme we knew we might run into tough issues as well as difficulties with clashing views. We accepted this challenge and stepped into this theme wholeheartedly and with great hope that this theme would be one of our best. So far it is.
As predicted, we ran into an issue that caused our newsroom to take an ethical time-out. Matt Busch a writer and designer for LakeVoice covered an article about atheism in Duluth.
According to the source of the article, Dr. William van Druten, he was forced to sign an oath saying that for certain issues he would follow the Vatican law. Since he was an atheist, he added to the oath “for Catholic patients only.” Because of this, they put him on courtesy staff where he could only do out-patient work. Eventually he was let go. Druten’s claims were placed in the article.
We decided that even though they were Druten’s claims, Essentia, his former employer, was not given the chance to respond. Matt Busch left a message and no response has been received. We tried to give them their right to respond to accusations, to explain and to put their input into the article before we published. This is only fair and right. It is their choice whether they comment or not.