Link editor says steps taken to prevent conflict of interest

Editor-in-chief recuses himself from election coverage due to candidate ties.

The Link, a student newspaper at Concordia University, is taking steps to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest due to close ties between its editor-in-chief and a presidential candidate in the upcoming student union election.

In an email to Maclean’s on Campus, Justin Giovannetti, the Link’s editor-in-chief wrote that while he would continue to edit non-election related content, which makes up the majority of the paper, he would leave the room if other editors needed “to discuss elections related issues, like supporting a candidate.”

“My role with elections material is limited largely to looking at proofs from the printers,” he wrote. “While I understand the impact that my retreat might have on quality . . . I think it’s the generally agreed upon ethical choice.”

He adds that, “the two slates, Your Concordia and Action . . . are both being covered by two journalists, with the story proposals and editing being handled by Christopher Curtis, The Link’s news editor . . .  Curtis and The Link’s Managing Editor Laura Beeston, will also be dealing with non-slate related election stories as the campaign progresses.”

Giovannetti also wrote that “the newspaper’s 13 other Masthead members and the six other Board members have confirmed that they are confident in my ability to continue doing my job.”

Full disclosure: I am a former editor-in-chief at Concordia’s other student newspaper, the Concordian.