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Worldwide Ace » Young and Naive

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Young and Naive

31 January, 2005 (00:36) | Media

I received a response from the Colorado Daily’s Editor. He requested that I not publish this (i.e. make it public). Hence, I’d like to present my email, his response and my reaction:

Colorado Daily,

I’m both flattered and bemused that you chose to use my LiveJournal (username bassist) as a source for your recent article entitled Strong Signal (1/28/05). Still, I find it ironic that your article and op/ed piece (Time for KVCU to grow up) were based on my LiveJournal, especially considering the entry in question was a critique in your choice in sources.

I wouldn’t consider my LiveJournal a viable news source, just as I wouldn’t consider an alien abduction website the pinnacle of scientific fact. If your first article (Will KVCU Move) seemed poorly researched, then basing an article on my LiveJournal can’t be much of a step upward.

I sincerely hope the reputation of your fine publication isn’t tarnished by your choice in sources, and I wish you the best of luck in continuing this upward trend in journalistic integrity.

Sincerely yours,

Ben Roberts


Mr. Roberts:

While I’m baffled that a news director of a radio station would think that his comments about the funding of his station and its accountability toward the student government that funds it would be un-newsworthy, and would then equate our quoting him directly from his web log as using an unreliable source (one would think a person’s direct writings, which were clear and unambiguous, would constitute the ultimate “reliable” source), I can only chalk up these misperceptions of yours to:

1)The fact that though you use and are in a position of leadership in the media, you don’t really understand how it works at even a most basic level;

2)You’re irked that your inability to understand where your public persona begins and your private persona ends and the fact that you were exposed to thousands of readers, your co-workers and classmates;

3)You no doubt irritated your co-workers and your boss by not being able to figure out the above distinction;

4)You are kicking yourself because you weren’t professional enough to call back the news agency that wrote the story and made repeated attempts to contact you for official comment that would explain your web log perspectives in a more complete context;

Still, despite all this, we nonetheless have no hard feelings toward you. We did our job — our reporter, Joe Thomas, filed two good stories (au contraire, they were superbly researched, and none — NOT ONE — of the facts he reported in them was ever denied by any official source at KVCU or UCSU) and our readers got to read about two entities they care deeply about: KVCU and UCSU.

In short, we did our job. We found news about things our readers care about, we gave it to our readers, we gave opportunities to sources to comment on that news, and some took those opportunities (your boss, Sean Choi) and some didn’t.

If, at some level, you think all of this is unfair or unprofessional, I’d be delighted to speak with you about it personally at your earliest convenience and help to continue your education as a media professional in a spirit of collegiality.

Sincerely,

Bronson Hilliard, managing editor, Colorado Daily
KAIR (predecessor to KVCU) news director, 1984

[I edited the email for grammar and spelling *snicker*]

I’m shocked and amazed how angry I am about this. I spent today watching movies and the last thing I was thinking about was the Colorado Daily’s publication. But then, to receive a response that so belittles and insults me, it’s simply difficult for me to grasp. Certainly, there was a sarcastic and almost bastardly tone in my email to them, but to then be slapped in the face with such snobbery and arrogance in response… Well, I feel it was unwarranted.

I’ve been sitting here for nearly two hours, clenching and unclenching my fists and thinking about whether or not to respond directly to this email. I have the intense desire to go over to the Daily’s offices and assault Mr. Hilliard in a violent and criminal fashion, preferably proceeding to fill him with ideas by shoving his own publication into orifices I can only assume are already clogged and brimming. I’m not a violent person, and I’m in as much disbelief at my own reaction as I am at his letter. I’m sure that this will pass by tomorrow, but until then, I’m about to explode with a rage filled rant, so please, feel free to skip the rest of this, as it’s likely a purely cathartic response.

Mr. Hilliard and the Colorado Daily certainly have a right to publish what they feel is good news, including excerpts from this journal. The reason why I try not to make entries friends only or even private is because I feel people can learn from my mistakes (or at least be entertained by them). I’m certainly happy to have my commentary published in a larger media source, since it’ll only increase the audience of said commentary. Up until this letter, I was not only ok with the articles, but amused. I’ve collected two copies of the paper for framing in my basement and made sure my parents had a chance to archive the Colorado Daily website so they’d have a record as well. In many ways, I applaud the Daily for having the courage to risk its reputation by publishing bad stories.

The email Mr. Hilliard responded with, however, is not only underhanded, but seems to lack a certain grace. I don’t mind being put down, disheveled, or attacked, but to do so privately (and request I keep it that way), and then attempt to take a moral high ground is pure shenanigans. My suspicion is that he’s merely trying to goad me into creating more news for his sorry excuse for a publication to cover.

Mr. Hilliard has years of experience in the world of journalism, and has advanced to the extremely high and respected position of managing editor at the Colorado Daily. Obviously, everything he’s said is correct. And for someone who’s been working in the field for nearly as long as I’ve been alive, he has some of the most astute understandings of the technological age of anyone I’ve ever met. And yet, somehow, I have a feeling that he’s an incompetent doomed to spend out his years working for the Daily, which is a sad sentence for any man.

…though you use and are in a position of leadership in the media, you don’t really understand how it works at even a most basic level;

He’s absolutely right. The entire media construct eludes me to this day. I can’t understand how an industry that claims to report things in a fair and balanced way can constantly report things in a biased and destructive manner. I can’t understand how a reporter in Chicago can hire hookers and use the company payroll to cover his expenses, claiming it’s research for a story. I can’t understand how a writer for the New York Times can fabricate entire interviews with known fugitives simply out of greed. I can’t understand how papers can manufacture news where there is none. And I definitely can’t understand how an editor doesn’t realize that a News Director isn’t a financial position.

You’re irked that your inability to understand where your public persona begins and your private persona ends and the fact that you were exposed to thousands of readers, your co-workers and classmates;

He’s absolutely right (though the sentence is missing a verb). I have a great difficulty understanding where my private persona and public persona intersect. If I’m public about everything I do, where is my private persona? Do I have a private persona? And how is my public persona different from who I am? I just don’t understand. And I can’t believe how exposed I was. I mean, my very very private journal, which I keep public, was shown to everyone. Oh my god. I’m just so irked. I mean, now my co-workers, who already knew since it’s linked to on our message boards, my friends, who already knew because I had it linked in my AIM profile for years, and thousands… wait, make that seventeen readers know about my oh so very private LiveJournal. I’m irked beyond belief.

You no doubt irritated your co-workers and your boss by not being able to figure out the above distinction;

He’s absolutely right. My boss and co-workers were irritated because I didn’t know where my public and private persona intersect. They weren’t mad about possible reactions from UCSU or about my sudden rise as the official spokesperson for Radio 1190. No, if anything, they were annoyed that I couldn’t differentiate between my public and private persona. I don’t even want to know how angry they’d have been if I’d turned out to be Red-Green colorblind. Jesus. I would’ve been in for it then.

You are kicking yourself because you weren’t professional enough to call back the news agency that wrote the story and made repeated attempts to contact you for official comment that would explain your web log perspectives in a more complete context;

He’s absolutely right. I was wondering why my ass was so sore, but now I realize it’s because I’ve been kicking myself. Yes, I’ve been kicking myself for being unprofessional. The professional thing to do would’ve been to call them back and tell them that I don’t think there’s a story there except one about their own poor journalism. The professional thing to do would’ve been to dig around and get as much dirt on the station as I could so they’d have a story to write, since it’s professional to do other people’s work. The professional thing to do would’ve been to bend over and let them fuck me straight in my mouth rather than letting them dry hump my LiveJournal. Yes sir, I know now I should’ve done the professional thing.

If, at some level, you think all of this is unfair or unprofessional, I’d be delighted to speak with you about it personally at your earliest convenience and help to continue your education as a media professional in a spirit of collegiality.

I really do think I need a lesson from Mr. Hilliard. I can only hope to aspire to the heights to which he has crawled like a rotting carcass left glued to the hot asphalt that is the Colorado Daily. I honestly am so appreciative that he thinks of me as his colleague and would be so willing as to take me under his wing and usher me to heights I can only see in reveille. Tomorrow, I think I will write Mr. Hilliard and thank him for his offer, declining only because of how unworthy I am, a lowly peon on the totem of Professional Journalism.

Getting away from the sarcastic and venomous segment of this entry, I don’t know if I’ll respond to him or even if I really want to. I don’t see the point of pushing this any longer. I am, however, tempted to invite him onto an Inquiring Minds where he can discuss journalistic integrity with several CU professors. I’m pretty sure he’d decline anyway.

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  • I lend my stabbing services, should you need them.

  • I lend my stabbing services, should you need them.

  • I’d be scared of a Hitleresque peanut.

  • I’d be scared of a Hitleresque peanut.

  • That guy is a fucktard.

  • That guy is a fucktard.

  • Wow. The Daily is even raggier than I thought.

  • Wow. The Daily is even raggier than I thought.

  • i’m not in boulder that often, but last night i was out at the pub with one of my friends, and i saw they had a copy of the daily, so i picked it up and read the article. she asked what i was reading, and i told her the rough context of the story. she just thought that was the stupidest thing in the world, that someone would create a news article (front page nonetheless) about someones web journal entry.
    and now he is being a complete and total dick. that is so uncalled for. he’s simply trying to belittle you, make himself feel like he’s the all-superb being, and you’re just some little moron who decided to write something personal in a *gasp* personal journal. whereas that is totally not the case because he is, to use tresofbass’s terminology, a fucktard (i really like that. i think i’m going to start using it), and you’re just some guy who thought he was doing something innocent. they also transcended boundaries into places they shouldn’t have gone, and possibly realize that. and he’s taking it out on you, even though you have not done anything wrong in this situation.
    dude, i feel so bad for you. i don’t know how i’d be able to deal with this if i were in this situation. do you know if they’re harassing the other kvcu person mentioned in the article?

  • i’m not in boulder that often, but last night i was out at the pub with one of my friends, and i saw they had a copy of the daily, so i picked it up and read the article. she asked what i was reading, and i told her the rough context of the story. she just thought that was the stupidest thing in the world, that someone would create a news article (front page nonetheless) about someones web journal entry.
    and now he is being a complete and total dick. that is so uncalled for. he’s simply trying to belittle you, make himself feel like he’s the all-superb being, and you’re just some little moron who decided to write something personal in a *gasp* personal journal. whereas that is totally not the case because he is, to use tresofbass’s terminology, a fucktard (i really like that. i think i’m going to start using it), and you’re just some guy who thought he was doing something innocent. they also transcended boundaries into places they shouldn’t have gone, and possibly realize that. and he’s taking it out on you, even though you have not done anything wrong in this situation.
    dude, i feel so bad for you. i don’t know how i’d be able to deal with this if i were in this situation. do you know if they’re harassing the other kvcu person mentioned in the article?

  • Bronson Hilliard, managing editor, Colorado Daily
    KAIR (predecessor to KVCU) news director, 1984

    He was really going out of his way to be a sandy little butthole. He was trying to provoke you.

    Really, he doesn’t seem to get livejournal. Of course you can “reliably” cut-and-paste quotes from someone’s livejournal in to quarkexpress, or whatever publishing software they use. A reliable source can still be a bad choice for a source.

  • Bronson Hilliard, managing editor, Colorado Daily
    KAIR (predecessor to KVCU) news director, 1984

    He was really going out of his way to be a sandy little butthole. He was trying to provoke you.

    Really, he doesn’t seem to get livejournal. Of course you can “reliably” cut-and-paste quotes from someone’s livejournal in to quarkexpress, or whatever publishing software they use. A reliable source can still be a bad choice for a source.

  • As far as I know, no. As of yet, they haven’t quote from Steph’s journal on Blogspot. Even if they chose to, her last entry (which is a response to the Daily) was far better written and well-explained than the one I had written that got quoted. In other words, there’s no way someone’s would be stupid enough to try and spin her entry.

    As for how I deal with it? I’ve always been one to stir up controversy. In high school, I attacked the principal in on of the school newspapers for a decision he made, and it was then rescinded. When I was a counselor at a camp, I constantly bent the rules so that the kids had the best time, despite the fact I was reprimanded several times. Causing problems doesn’t bother me if people come out better for it, and in this case, I think the station will in the long run.

  • As far as I know, no. As of yet, they haven’t quote from Steph’s journal on Blogspot. Even if they chose to, her last entry (which is a response to the Daily) was far better written and well-explained than the one I had written that got quoted. In other words, there’s no way someone’s would be stupid enough to try and spin her entry.

    As for how I deal with it? I’ve always been one to stir up controversy. In high school, I attacked the principal in on of the school newspapers for a decision he made, and it was then rescinded. When I was a counselor at a camp, I constantly bent the rules so that the kids had the best time, despite the fact I was reprimanded several times. Causing problems doesn’t bother me if people come out better for it, and in this case, I think the station will in the long run.

  • Interesting note: In 1978, KGNU was the CU station. KGNU was partially run by students and partially funded by CU. When KGNU decides to split off as a community station, KAIR (660 AM), which broadcast on the CU electrical system (carrier current), was founded in the early 1980s and wasn’t student run. If you didn’t live in the dorms, you couldn’t get it. In 1987, KUCB (530 AM) took over for the failed KAIR and was completely student run. In 1995, KUCB won Best Radio Station in the Daily (which has since stopped giving out meaningful awards). In 1998, Radio 1190 KVCU went on the air, using the same equipment KUCB had used. It’s the first CU station to broadcast over the airwaves since KGNU’s earliest years.

    I’m not sure KAIR left us anything but a bunch of records.

  • Interesting note: In 1978, KGNU was the CU station. KGNU was partially run by students and partially funded by CU. When KGNU decides to split off as a community station, KAIR (660 AM), which broadcast on the CU electrical system (carrier current), was founded in the early 1980s and wasn’t student run. If you didn’t live in the dorms, you couldn’t get it. In 1987, KUCB (530 AM) took over for the failed KAIR and was completely student run. In 1995, KUCB won Best Radio Station in the Daily (which has since stopped giving out meaningful awards). In 1998, Radio 1190 KVCU went on the air, using the same equipment KUCB had used. It’s the first CU station to broadcast over the airwaves since KGNU’s earliest years.

    I’m not sure KAIR left us anything but a bunch of records.

  • Damn straight. I’ll dress up as a peanut with a knife and splatter blood all over myself and chase this guy down the street.

  • Damn straight. I’ll dress up as a peanut with a knife and splatter blood all over myself and chase this guy down the street.

  • I’d like to see that.

  • I’d like to see that.

  • Supply me with liquor, and the possibilities are endless.

    You know, I once killed a man? True story.

  • Supply me with liquor, and the possibilities are endless.

    You know, I once killed a man? True story.

  • That might be the next article in the Colorado Daily. I mean, if you said it on here, it must be true.

  • That might be the next article in the Colorado Daily. I mean, if you said it on here, it must be true.

  • Sometime towards the end of February my roomies and I are throwing a 70s party. You should come dressed as the vintage Mr. Peanut, alcoholic.

  • Sometime towards the end of February my roomies and I are throwing a 70s party. You should come dressed as the vintage Mr. Peanut, alcoholic.

  • Count me in.

  • Count me in.

  • Hi lady.

    OMGS that would be so sweet. I want to be a celebrity.

  • Hi lady.

    OMGS that would be so sweet. I want to be a celebrity.

  • You’re right; he probably IS trying to goad you into another story.

    But I guess it’s too late now, since we don’t want in jail…

  • You’re right; he probably IS trying to goad you into another story.

    But I guess it’s too late now, since we don’t want in jail…