Does it matter 
Member since Dec 17, 2009


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Re: “Media Watch

As a member of the Arizona Daily Wildcat staff who regularly witnessed the daily happenings of the newsroom, I can say that you, too, Shain, have left out many key details. Although not mentioned in your or Alex’s statements, many of these details ultimately led to the request for your resignation. I expect that your comment regarding Schuster’s alleged failure to fact-check makes you confident in making accusations with glaring omissions. Unfortunately, you and Alex weren’t the only ones in the newsroom for the semester; the rest of us saw what was happening on a nightly basis, too.

When you were hired as the Managing Editor of the Daily Wildcat, your tasks were laid out for you:

• Assist and advise the Editor in Chief

• Assume direct responsibility for nightly production (6 p.m. to Midnight).

• Maintain and monitor the online budget.

• Monitor all newsroom desks to ensure communication between them.

• Organize and coordinate larger news projects

• Assist Daily Wildcat staff in improving their work and reaching their potential.

• Take part in the Opinions Board for the Daily Wildcat.

       These tasks, as presented by Alex in an email to the staff as “what
Shain and I have envisioned,” are what you were paid $50 a day to complete. However, I believe your daily activities frequently included napping and canoodling under your desk with the aforementioned photo editor, Rita Lichamer, while others were forced up for the work not being done in order to put the paper out every night. You made your desk, as well as yourself and the photo editor, unapproachable to all other members of the newsroom by sectioning it off with blankets and pillows to provide the proper privacy for you and Rita. Since you find it necessary to include allegations of sexual activity within the staff, perhaps a mention of your own sexual exploits in the Daily Wildcat newsroom is in order.

       As far as pay goes, you failed to mention that the new pay arrangements came early in the semester, at a time when you were not filling the managing editor role as it had been assigned. Others were compensated for completing the tasks which you were unable or unwilling to carry out. Woodhams is right to say that “salary received was within the parameters of the duties performed,” except in your case. Everyone who spent even an hour in the newsroom could see for themselves that while you were lying around under your desk, others, such as Marisa, Alex and various section and copy editors, were running around the newsroom “monitoring all newsroom desks to ensure communication between them” and “assuming direct responsibility for nightly production,” beginning at 2 or 3 p.m. These are responsibilities which you and Alex laid out together in the managing editor job description, and which you did not perform.

       So, Shain, if we want to talk about the facts, and if you call for accuracy, perhaps everything should be disclosed. Maybe that’s not what you want; maybe it’s not in your best interest after all. The bottom line is this: If any one person is at fault for the way the paper went this semester, then everyone is. It is OUR daily student newspaper, not Alex’s or Marisa’s -- or yours, for that matter. The thing about working in a team setting is that we all have our duties, and the completion of those tasks dictates how everyone else’s job goes and how effective we are as a whole. During my time at the Daily Wildcat, through multiple semesters, I have repeatedly seen a constant blame game. Who did what to make the paper what it was? At the end of the day, every staff member has a hand in both the good and the bad, regardless from whose perspective you look at it.

Posted by Does it matter on 12/17/2009 at 10:01 AM

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