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In Peking

THE MAIL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of The Crimson:

In Eric Fried's feature, "Peking's Biggest Test" (Nov. 30, 1979), I feel seriously misquoted in two areas.

The first reads, "Sons and daughters of intellectuals are getting into P.U. (Peking University) these days, and people from worker-peasant backgrounds can't get in." This is false. There is a tendency to have a high proportion of intellectuals' sons and daughters, just as there is at Harvard, but that does not at all eliminate the possibility that others from different backgrounds could gain attendance.

Secondly, I mentioned to Fried that I knew two cases of cheating at the University. Somehow that translated into "Lots of cheating is still going on."

There is nothing that arouses more indignation than to feel misquoted and misrepresented. It is very tempting to objectify Fried as a malicious reporter, and overlook the possibility that these misquotations are products of human error. This whole experience, however, highlights what I see as a problematic area in newspaper reporting. I believe this may be reduced if Crimson reporters would, in the future, allow a person, if quoted extensively, to see or hear over the phone what the reporter has decided to put in print. This would ensure that the information is being accurately presented. I feel it is the responsibility of the reporter to do what is in his power to reduce this error. Patty Wen '80

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