Nova Scotia·Editor's Note

Dalhousie 'Gentlemen's Club' and why we're withholding names

Nancy Waugh, CBC Nova Scotia's executive producer, sheds light on some of the editorial decisions regarding a story about misogynistic comments allegedly made by some members of Dalhousie's dentistry school.

We've made the decision not to report their names, for now

Dalhousie University in Halifax has launched an investigation into disturbing, sexually explicit Facebook posts attributed to male students in the Faculty of Dentistry. (CBC)

CBC News is aware of at least a dozen members of the so-called Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen's club.

We've made the decision not to report their names, for now.

Clearly, given the seriousness of the behaviour in question, this might seem like a debatable decision.

It wasn't taken lightly.

Among our reasons:

First, while we know names, we don't know the full extent of each member's involvement in the group, or which ones were knowing participants in its discussions and activities. This isn't clear from the material in our possession.

And we know that naming names could have serious implications for the personal and professional futures of the people involved. It's not a decision to be taken lightly or on incomplete evidence.

Second, CBC News doesn't want to influence the current investigation at Dalhousie University, which is in possession of this same information and is the proper authority to determine responsibility.

​​Nancy Waugh is the executive producer for news at CBC Nova Scotia.


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