Thursday, September 23, 2010


A couple things frustrating me about The Daily Universe this morning. I'll try not to vent too inappropriately, and I don't mean to badmouth anybody. It's the nature of the biz for not everything to go my way. And it's the nature of any biz, so I need to keep trying to get used to it, I suppose.

1) One of the first stories David and I assigned on the very first day of class was a story about the system in place at LaVell Edwards Stadium for fans to send text messages to stadium security with concerns and issues. We assigned it to a reporter who didn't end up on the sports desk once desk assignments were made, but she still worked on the story and did a pretty good job.

David was the first actually to do the story as a front page package. The new Universe, with the enterprise editor, more involvement from the academic department and other changes, doesn't really do front packages anymore. But we started talking very early on about the story as a package, how to do photos, etc.

Then, another story came in (actually from my COMMS 377 class) that was a profile on the ROTC, and highlighting the ROTC doing pushups at the stadium every time BYU scores and (little known fact) that they are the ones who clean up the stadium after the games.

I thought that would go perfectly with the stadium security story. I forget who brought it up in front page meeting, but it made sense to me. The theme could be something about goings-on at the stadium other than the game itself. Sounded like a good idea to me. And as far as I knew, it was a good idea to everyone else.

But then yesterday in front page meeting, the faith behind the two stories diminished for some reason. First, no one thought the two stories fit together, even though we had been saying they did for some time now. Then, it was determined the ROTC story should wait until there is more photos, even though the photo desk had already found stuff to work with. And, some people thought the stadium security wasn't all that great anyway unless it were "beefed up" a little bit.

I said that I had edited the story and improved it, but I guess it still wasn't "front-page worthy." So, the only way to save the stadium security story for front page (the ROTC story was quickly abandoned) was for me to "beef it up."

I didn't know how I would do that, but I worked on it a little and added to it. There. Done.

Except that when I see the front page this morning, the security story is scooted over to the side and the front page package became a story that was mocked even by the desk it came from. Yes, the "Carp(e) diem" story had better pictures. And the headline was funny, normally it would amuse me. But to see a front page package idea for four weeks turn into barely anything in five minutes is a big letdown.

I mean, I didn't personally write either of the stories or take any of the pictures (although I am in the background of the stadium security picture). I don't have that much personally invested in the package. I just thought it was a good idea, and to see everyone suddenly change their minds is frustrating.

(The green shirt on the left? That's me!)

It reminds me of another job I had at BYU. It seemed like all we did was sit in meetings and talk about doing things. But we didn't or couldn't actually do them because we had to come up with something everyone could agree on. Which is fine. But sometimes it seemed like everyone did agree, and then out of nowhere the unanimity would vanish.

I know it's not good to just want to do everything my way. I need to be able to yield to other people's ideas, and not complain.

Something to work on.

Anyway, here's the stadium security story, by Michelle Menezes:

Stadium fans can text for security

And today's front page:

Carp(e) diem: Seizing the fish

2) Two letters to the editor were published today in response to my "Stewart gets serious" viewpoint. They were fine letters, nothing mean or insulting (like I dealt with sometimes during the spring and summer). Just definitely disagreed with me.

Both letters, especially the first one, thought Jon Stewart and I were promoting political inactivity. I don't think that's what we're going for at all. In fact, it's advocating the opposite. The Rally to Restore Sanity isn't about mediocrity, it's for moderation. Jon Stewart does want people to get involved. He just wants them to do it humanely.

The other reaction was something I sort of expected, saying basically that our country is in serious trouble and that we should be passionately fighting against what our government does. I disagree, but people can live in fear if they wish to, I suppose.

Here are the two letters:

Stewart still a joke
(Be sure to read the comment from Will Matheson at the bottom of the page)

Politically aware

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