Monday, April 02, 2007

Rieckman is now pro-UWO?

Although this topic has already gotten plenty of play in the blogosphere (Tony, Babblemur and Miles), I wanted to add my two-cents.

After all, it is striking to see Rieckman endorse a "Jeffrey Dahmer" to be on the city council. (I really do hold a grudge!!) After Rieckman's ready use of the university as a whipping boy in his columns, to see him write that it might not be so bad to have three people associated with UWO on the council is quite a change of heart.

For Stew, Palmeri is a great addition to the council. As someone devoted to open records, the Northwestern will surely benefit if Tony insists on opening up the cozy world of city government. Perhaps he also recognizes that continually attacking a significant percentage of his subscribers is not the best way to build his newspaper.

I, for one, don't really understand the town and gown split here. On the other hand, I don't understand the north/west split either . . .

1 comment:

lammers said...

I have said it here before that I think the Northwestern does a reasonably good job of singing our praises when we deserve it. There are many, many positive stories about events and people on campus.
I do not think the paranoia you express is a fair and objective assessment of their overall coverage of or editorial attitude towards UWO.

God knows I've disagreed with the Northwestern plenty of times over things they've said about UWO (e.g., the infamous "just teach a little more" editorial). But I think these gaffes are prompted by a genuine ignorance of academia on their part, on a patent lack of understanding of higher education and how it operates, than on the sort of intentional vendetta you suggest.

I mean, all available evidence suggests that no one on the editorial staff knows the basics of grammar, syntax, and spelling. Those "how to mark galley proof" example sheets that publishers send you have fewer errors than an average page of the Northwestern. If any of the editorial staff have been to college, you'd have a hard time proving it by their writing skills. My high school paper featured better grammar, syntax, and spelling. So it's not surprising that they do not understand the subtleties of academia.

And in any event, do you really WANT the local press to be a lap dog, speaking no evil of us out of deference or fear or respect? That's not right! I wouldn't tolerate that for ANY institution, even if I'm the beneficiary. The local press needs to be able to criticize us if we deserve it. They just need to be sure they get their facts straight, and remember that a university is not just a big overgrown high school.