March 6, 2020

Interview with Anu Subramaniam ’20

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Before becoming The Sun’s editor in chief on the 137th editorial board, Anu Subramaniam ’20 reported extensively on the Greek community. She shared with the newsletter team on how she approaches the topic — with objectivity, transparency and empathy.

1. How is reporting on Greek life different from reporting on other topics?

I would say reporting on Greek life has two big challenges that differentiate it from working on some other topics we regularly cover: one, there are a lot of preconceived notions surrounding the topic, and two, some of the coverage can include sensitive aspects of people’s social lives. Besides that, I think reporting on Greek life is very similar to reporting on other campus organizations in that you want to feature as many relevant voices, strive for a balance between any opposing sides (if there are any) and be as accurate as possible. I think being a member of a Greek organization myself helped me understand a lot of details regarding some of my stories. I would also say it can be hard to avoid lengthy explanations of larger systemic bearings, policies or issues when referring to something small and specific in a story.

2. What do you pay special attention to when covering sensitive issues like hazing allegations?

What is important to pay attention to in reporting on sensitive topics, in general, is understanding that at the end of the day we are covering people, and that we are operating in a larger society with laws and policies. With hazing allegations, it is important to make sure we comply with journalistic standards in reporting on victims of any crimes, and also important that we give everyone involved a fair chance to comment and explain their side of the story, whether they are interested in doing so or not. Each story is an individual story and what works in one case does not always work in another, but being honest and asking questions when you don’t know what to do goes a really long way in handling sensitive topics.