Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 18, 2024

The News-Letter is nothing but fake news

By SEAN SPICIEST | March 30, 2017


APRIL FOOLS: This article was published as part of  The News-Letter's annual April Fools edition, an attempt at adding some humor to a newspaper that is normally very serious about its reporting.

But why place so much blame on certain national news outlets? What if I told you there’s a fake news source closer than you think?

Since 1896, our very own campus newspaper, The News-Letter, has and continues to fill its pages with an unending stream of lies. To prove that The News-Letter publishes “alternative facts” about the Hopkins community, I suggest we look back through their reckless headlines this year as evidence.

To start, The News-Letter claims to have covered not one but several student protests this year alone. It appears that an activist spirit and a sense of duty brought the Hopkins community together to uphold certain beautiful ideals.

But who has ever heard of Hopkins students protesting? Unless you count rushing to office hours in herds to beg a professor to raise an exam grade from a B+ to an A-, Hopkins students have not been known to stand up for change. I’ve barely seen students willing to stand up in the reading room, lest they lose their precious study spot.

Therefore, these protests simply could not have happened. I’m sure that Brody Learning Commons, the FFC and the Hopkins bubble were at full capacity whenever these alleged demonstrations took place.

Nevertheless, I will commend The News-Letter photography staff. Pictures showing more students gathered on the beach in 2017 than four years ago are masterfully staged and show a strong command of Photoshop.

Next, let’s discuss The News-Letter’s coverage of the Humanities Center this year. Sure, this purported debacle between the University and one of its own departments allowed The News-Letter staff members to fill up their pages and meet their deadlines for a few weeks, but we can safely categorize this story as fake news.

The University would have to go against its core values to threaten the closure of a multidisciplinary institution that’s existed at Hopkins for over 50 years. What self-respecting administrator would even consider such a terrible thing? It’s fair to say that the four or five Hopkins students who even take classes in Gilman will be sure to find the department’s office still doing whatever it does.

Although I’ve debunked The News-Letter’s biggest stories, I’m still left with questions. By filling their pages with alternative facts, what does The News-Letter want to distract us from? Do they want unchecked power? Increased readership? Or do they just want a building that has heat in the winter?

And unless this is some kind of special parody issue, why even agree to publish my opinion piece that is clearly aimed to destroy the paper’s reputation?

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find the answers to these questions, but here are the facts: If you want to avoid the truth, make sure to pick up a copy of The News-Letter.

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