Earlier in April there was a report about a faculty member at Drexel University having sent a link to porn by mistake to her students when she intended to send a link to an article about brief writing. I wrote about it here. Professor Lisa T. McElroy has responded with an op-ed in the Washington Post. She writes about dignity and how those who spread the news seemed more interested in tearing her down:
No one publicly questioned the dignity of the so-called journalists who wrote salacious stories, broadcast them, waited outside my office to interview my students, called my unpublished cellphone number. And no one questioned the dignity of the intended audience. Tabloid journalists ran with this story because they knew they would get page views. How would they know that? Because they know their readers and viewers — and they know that scandal, sex and shame are irresistible to those who devour their posts.
I can appreciate what she says. In some contexts it is page views that drive the story onward because it is unusual for these kind of things to happen. That’s the world we live in, where stuff like this sells ads and eyeballs (though not here). Drexel has conducted a short investigation and found nothing that would result in any action. Good for Drexel and good for her.
I still have one question that remains from my original post: what was the article on brief writing she liked enough to want to send out?