Inside the News Room

Disclosure about The Lens and Loyola University

The story about Loyola University President Kevin Wildes’ controversial tenure as chairman of the Civil Service Commission would normally carry a simple disclosure that The Lens is located on the campus of Loyola University.

However, that’s changing, and I believe we owe our readers a more complete explanation.

The Lens and Loyola signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2012 that provided space within the School of Mass Communication for The Lens newsroom. In exchange, The Lens staff worked with students, professors and the campus newspaper in various capacities, for the benefit of all involved.

For example, a student’s freelance work for The Lens brought honors to the university when she won a national First Amendment award, and the presence of The Lens was cited in the School of Mass Communication’s application for national accreditation, which it received for the first time this year.

The Lens benefitted from free space, the energy provided by working with eager students and the general amenities offered by the campus.

The memorandum of understanding was for a pilot program to last two years, and it expires Dec. 30. The Lens began discussions of a renewal of the agreement last month, but we received no formal response from administrators.

Therefore, The Lens is leaving campus on Dec. 30. Our new home has yet to be secured, though we’ve got several promising leads for commercial rental space.

Also, the director of the School of Mass Communications, Sonya Duhe, served on the Board of Directors for The Lens for the past two years. She resigned her role as a Lens director as we prepared this story, citing the coverage of her superior as a conflict of interest.

Help us report this story     Report an error    
The Lens' donors and partners may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover.
About Steve Beatty

Steve Beatty is the publisher and chief executive officer of The Lens. He worked as an editor for The Times-Picayune for 15 years, leaving New Orleans just before Katrina to take a position as an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and quickly rising through the ranks to be an editor of the newspaper’s watchdog investigative team. He returned to New Orleans in May of 2009. He can be reached at (504) 655-2375.

  • nickelndime

    Thanks. Perfectly understandable. And let me add that Wildes should be out of a job at Loyola, and he definitely should not work for the City of New Orleans either. He missed something when “ethics” was being covered, and Jesuit Pope Francis should defrock and excommunicate him. 12/17/2014 4:07 PM

  • nickelndime

    One more thing, please do not go to Tulane. How about UNO? That is a hotbed of graft and corruption. Maybe THE LENS could locate its offices in the Political Science Department offices on the UNO campus. Fos axed that. Also, please stay away from Riedlinger’s Leadership Center because of funding through the Baptist Community Ministries. Boy, oh boy, oh boy – between religion and politics in this city, when do you guys get time to sleep!? 12/17/2014 4:12 PM

  • nickelndime

    There was a story about a medical conference being “stopped at the door,” figuratively speaking, by “the Gov,” because of Ebola, and I cannot find it in any of the categories. So, excuse me (!), because I am tacking the following comment onto the thread that has to do with THE LENS, Steve Beatty (good man!), and Loyola. The comment has to do with Malaria and Ebola and the confounding of the two, CONFOUNDED! “Well come on down! America is open for business. 24/7 365! Pump those taxpayer dollars into treatment centers dba ‘hospitals.’ And oh yeah, I don’t expect this comment to last long. Between the AP and the TP (one commenter blamed ‘comment deletion’ on a computer program), I don’t know which is worse! Keep your attention on sports. That’ll take your minds off of your eroding freedoms.” 12/28/2014 9:55/10:49 PM

  • Zach Minelian

    Sorry to hear The Lens is losing their offices. Seems like another case of them biting the hand that feeds/ funds them.
    One would hope that Loyola brass were above this … but one would be wrong, obviously.
    The Lens has had some well-publicized financial problems and staff cuts over the past year, though no housecleaning of those in charge of their financial matters. I’m not sure why. This is a good newsroom that’s being leached away. Time to bring some fresh blood into the business side.

  • nickelndime

    Sometimes one/you (impersonal “you”) have to bite a hand or two if the hand that feeds/funds you wants something other than a passing backrub. Did Loyola “brass” want or expect more than THE LENS could or would give? What does Zach know that I don’t know? Who is in charge of financial matters and who is doing the alleged leaching? Where is the fresh blood? Sounds like an Anne Rice Lestat vampire character is in the shadows! 01/04/2015 9:45 PM

  • nickelndime

    If Pope Francis can demote an American cardinal, why can’t Wildes be defrocked, excommunicated, refused communion, ostracized (oh wait – that is above the pope’s pay grade), and sent home without pay (that’s within Loyola’s authority)? 01/04/2015 9:52 PM