Friday, December 16, 2011

DE Closing Editorial

The editor of the DE, Leah Stover, published a very fine op-ed on the events of the last semester in Wednesday's paper: You Can't Save Face by Censoring Others.

I've been all too willing to criticize the DE over the years--student reporters do get things wrong, and do sometimes write poorly. Experto crede: I was a student reporter for one year--my freshman one--at a tiny college where anyone who showed up became a reporter, with no faculty oversight. What I did, for the most part, was get things wrong and write poorly.  Not to mention my sins of commission and omission as a blogger. 

But one can't help but be impressed by the fine work the DE did this semester. When the administration was reporting business as usual on campus, the DE reporters were going to the picket lines, to student marches, and to classrooms, and reporting the truth. DE reporters consistently made a valiant effort to understand the complicated process of negotiations (a process complicated in large part, of course, by the very different stories they were getting from the two sides). Take this article by Sarah Schneider, with a headline that nailed the public debate: Unions Say Strike Not About Money, Cheng Begs to Differ.  Tara Kulash's summary article just the other day on Chancellor Cheng's reign thus far, Her First 556 Days, was a very impressive piece of work. These aren't pro-union hack jobs--far from it. They are carefully crafted, balanced articles by student journalists of great promise.

Above all, the DE's principled stand against the administration's attempt to control information flow shows tremendous courage and integrity. It can't be easy for student journalists to criticize the SIUC administration in this outspoken a manner. If that sort of courage and integrity were more widespread on campus, we'd all be far better off.

At any rate, as I reflect on the events of this past semester, one bright spot will certainly be the positive role played by SIUC students. Those working for the DE have given us all something to be proud of. 


  1. Well said! I was very impressed with Ms. Stover's editorial and couldn't have described my feelings better than you.

  2. It's a good editorial if FA propaganda is good journalism. Unfortunately, she missed out on the real story which was that most faculty stayed in class and taught their students!

  3. However, the DE did deal with this item in other stories. What is important was her critique of SIUC's administration to stop investigative journalism and its abuse of the Freedom of Information act. The released memos from Cheng mentioning "the DE kids" are more examples of her contempt for students ("pawns") and her total unfitness to be Chancellor of this University. Both she and
    Poshard should resign immediately.

  4. I wonder if the DE has burned its bridges with the administration in what was clearly a cowardly parting shot taken in the last issue of the semester. The DE reporters and their FA handlers may get the last word but these "First Amendment" claims are ludicrous. Just why does anyone think the administration is obligated to play the game under rules as dictated by the DE? Boo Hoo.

  5. The First Amendment is supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution something now under attack by Congress passing a Bill allowing for the detention of American citizens without Trial likely to be signed by the President. It is not surprising that the anti-union supporters (especially the one above) choose to ignore what the Administration did. While rendition CIA torture Centers exist around the Globe with a deafening silence, it is not surprising that Administration supporters turn a blind eye to the insults made against them by the Chancellor and the continuiing presence of a President who plagiarized his dissertation. The DE deserves full credit. Unlike anti-union faculty they are not craven, spineless puppies of a corrupt administration but speak the truth.

  6. I wish you would just stop that tenor of talk; its baseless, incendiary and cheapens the substantive, issue-based discussion we could be having.

  7. Like Anon, 12.55? Just go ahead and enjoy being in denial!

  8. Comparing SIU to CIA torture centers?

    Carven, spineless puppies?


    The one-percenters do have a way with words.

  9. No, just showing that denial takes various forms and it is the current fashion among reactionaries.

  10. Seventeen years into retirement from SIUC,this blog has been a continual reminder of how petty and small minded university faculty can be. One of the many delights of retirement is not having to deal daily with the bitchiness and picky-picky-picky "let me point out how right I am and how wrong you are" attitude that comes from the anonymous comments of the anti-union pseuo-conservatives who seem to get some kind of perverse joy out of the comments they splay here.
    The topic here in this particular message is how well the DE has reported this year. Like a freshman in 101, the anti-union bloggers twist this to their need to spread their venom.
    Please let me comment that after 44 years of reading the DE, I too have found this semester's reporting to be outstanding. I have emailed to student writers my compliments on their writing. Saying this will probably draw some kind of pseudo-intellectual criticism of me for not knowing what "real" journalism is.
    "Honey badger don't give a damn."

  11. False information and/or misleading comments are always two important weapons for the attack. This post seems to have helped FA exploit Admin. Perhaps it has been a gradual shift over time, with FA slowly accumulating more and more power.

  12. 11:24 AM, 12:55 PM, and 7:02 PM - do you have any substantive evidence of anything you posted? I don't agree with the union on everything but I have a really hard time seeing things the way of the administration here these days.

    If the FA ends up gaining more power, isn't it the administration's fault for ineffective management?


I will review and post comments as quickly as I can. Comments that are substantive and not vicious will be posted promptly, including critical ones. "Substantive" here means that your comment needs to be more than a simple expression of approval or disapproval. "Vicious" refers to personal attacks, vile rhetoric, and anything else I end up deeming too nasty to post.