The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

Editorial Response

Editorial Response

Mr. Potchatek,

Firstly, we would like to acknowledge that many of your concerns are valid. The content in Issue I of The Standard inaccurately portrayed the school community, particularly with regards to females at ASL. These misrepresentations stem from an unfortunate inattention to the importance of achieving balance in our overall paper. As a staff, we made a collection of individual oversights that accumulated into a general trend of misrepresentation. For this, we apologize, and promise the community that we have always striven and will continue to strive towards producing a paper that accurately reflects the collective members of the ASL community.

However, we do have reservations regarding several of the specific instances you have identified. Firstly, let us look at the stories involving two or more pages – the stories which define each issue. In our cover story “The Red Line,” we followed standard journalistic practice by placing two interviewees who held the same opinion next to each other. Doing this adds weight and verification to the viewpoints. Placing ASL Parent and Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy to the Court of St. James Elizabeth Dibble’s remarks prior to Social Studies Teacher Howie Powers’ was no slight towards Dibble or a question of her significance, but rather an acknowledgement of her expertise and prominence in the field. We felt it was important to introduce the reader to a figure of such authority as early as possible, with Powers’ remarks following as the result of common journalistic practice.

Nevertheless, we do take full responsibility for our error in placing Dibble’s title at the embassy prior to “ASL Parent” in the body of the article. The format in the pull quote is correct; it follows The Standard stylebook to place one’s ASL connection before any other title. We mistakenly did not follow our own style in the body text of “The Red Line.”

Our other three-page article of Issue I featured Nick Canavan (’14) and his athletic pursuits. It must be noted that in Issue VI of last year, an article profiling Emma Nealis (’14) was given the back page as well as another page inside, and while it was not three pages, we do feel it was a comparably prominent feature of a female athlete and an important truth to acknowledge. However, we do apologize for having seven pages of male-centric coverage.

Furthermore, our double page spread on shisha culture was, firstly, an article about a pastime which applies to both genders. But more significantly, of the two anonymous sources, which are indeed the focus of the article, one is male and one is female. In our other double page spread, which featured tattoos, there was no option to incorporate a female first-person voice, as no female students who have tattoos at ASL feel comfortable speaking publicly about their tattoos. We do believe that tattoos are growing more prevalent within the student body, and therefore felt it was an article that was important to run.

We also do not concur with your point regarding the “standout line” in “The Gender Divide” article, as it is completely factual. The fact that it is a standout line is in no part because it portrays women as lesser; it is instead an important component in presenting the full story to the reader.

Regarding the Opinions section, we would like to emphasize that all students are equally encouraged to write for the Opinions section, both on staff and in terms of the general student body, but for whatever reason it is primarily young men who choose to do so. We would like to reiterate the point that if anyone is interested in writing for the Opinions section, please contact For interest in writing in any other section, please contact

We hope it is clear that we are taking your concerns seriously. Your letter initiated a thorough review of our last issue, and for this, we are grateful. We hope you, as well as our general readership, understand that we have always had the intention of producing a fair and balanced version of The Standard. If you have any other concerns, we are happy to have further discussion.


The Standard Editorial Board

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