Yep. Thought it’s not so nefarious as that.
The local campus newspaper printed a letter to the editor written by an anonymous college student about my Fraternity. In the letter he/she claimed that the fraternity did many things that are blatantly false.
Among the allegations:
-Drugs are distributed at parties to the general public.
-16 year old women are regularly in attendance at the fraternity house.
-Rape is a common occurance.
It went on and on. All of these allegations, of course, are not true. No attempt was made by the paper to fact check any of this. The president of the fraternity was not contacted for a response.
It seems to me that this is very similar to the idea of accusing a neighbor of being a child molestor without any proof, and the local paper printing it.
I dunno. Like I said in the OP, I don’t really read old fashioned newspapers. I have no idea what is acceptable and normal practices for letters to the editor, Ed pages, Op-Ed pages and the like. I am sure at the end of the day it really comes down to the newspapers can do whatever they like. I am just curious as to what the standards, if any, are.