From the editor: Herald confirms information in Eckhardt complaint

Jonathan Lintner

The Herald staff feels it important to address some specifics within Amy Eckhardt’s civil suit against WKU given the paper’s numerous appearances in the document.

First, the story played out from our side of the story as follows: After Eckhardt was fired April 1, the Herald requested and received documents through the Kentucky Open Records Act and reported based upon documents obtained. All information released is considered public.

Second, a decision was made to not have the original story’s reporter, Cole Claybourn (spelled Claybourne in the document), continue reporting this story once his name was mentioned in the suit to avoid any future conflicts. Claybourn has confirmed information in the complaint regarding when he visited Eckhardt and why she couldn’t comment. Until she was approached for comment back in April, Eckhardt was not aware the documents had been released to the Herald. Claybourn again sought comment from Eckhardt after April 30 but she declined, and the Herald was not able to follow up before the spring 2011 semester ended.

Third, the suit mentions a photograph taken by a university photographer that ran with the original story. As the Herald does often, we requested from the university Eckhardt’s official photograph and were supplied it by the school. The photos are not considered private materials.

And finally, the defendant in this complaint is WKU — not the College Heights Herald. Although the Office of Student Publications reports to the vice provost, the Herald maintains editorial freedom from the university.

Jonathan Lintner

Herald editor-in-chief