Monday, November 21, 2011

Letter Aftermath

A former sports reporter and co-editor of mine wrote a good article for the Deseret News that follows up on last week's controversy:

BYU paper pulls letter to editor on gay adoption, but student defends it

Way to go, Sarah, in talking to Taylor Petty himself. It's hard to believe that he's so unapologetic, but I suppose he's entitled to his opinion.

And, Taylor, both sides are represented:

For gay parents adopting

Against gay parents adopting

Your letter was taken down not because of sides or bias, but because of your overdrawn and hurtful rant.


What got me the most mad last Friday was how much hate was expressed for The Daily Universe.

It's understandable to some extent. And we all regret publishing Taylor's letter. But according to the fliers that were passed around and some people on the "Shame On You DU" Facebook group, it was as if the DU was advancing an anti-gay rights agenda. I saw way too many people who confused a letter to the editor with an article, which maybe doesn't seem like a big difference, but it is for those who understand journalism.

It was also frustrating to see so many people praise The Student Review to the detriment of the DU. Don't get me wrong, The Student Review is great and Hunter Schwarz's viewpoint was a good reassurance that not every BYU student or every Mormon believes the same way Taylor does. But, to people like Hanna Hiatt, journalism on BYU campus is not in as dire of straits as you think it is. The DU isn't worthless, even after this mistake.

(Of course, I'm biased since I've worked here almost two years and am proud of it. So take my opinion for what it's worth.)


One thing I am grateful for is that "Shame On You DU" is making a big effort to change its name. The people who created the group seemed to realize that their purpose wasn't to tear down the DU, but to promote more tolerance and understanding at BYU. Ironically, in order to change the name they have to drop their Facebook fans to below 100, so they're actually asking people to leave the group and then come back after the name change. It's a lot of hassle, but they want to do it anyway. And I really appreciate that.

What's funny though is that their fans have actually gone up. So, if anyone from the Facebook group is reading this blog: please listen to the suggestion from the leaders of the group and let the name be changed. It will help the group's name reflect the group's mission more accurately.

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