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Albuquerque Journal beat writer reassigned for email

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Shaggy, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest


    Reporter writes an email to a player trying to get confirmation that he quit the team. The end of the email says "If you have quit, maybe that's a step in the right direction."

    Gets reassigned when the email gets back to his editors.

    I have an opinion on this, but I wanted to hear what others think.
  2. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Hard to say without reading the full e-mail. If the player quit the team to focus on academics, as the blog post said, the reporter could've meant it as a friendly word of encouragement based on past exchanges. Like he understood the player was in trouble academically, and the reporter meant it as "maybe that'll give you more time to study and help you get back on track academically."
    Seems like there might be more to this than meets the eye.
  3. J Staley

    J Staley Member

    First, I should say that I know the reporter and used to work with him.

    That disclosure out of the way, I didn't think what he did was bad. To me the part of the e-mail I read sounded empathetic. If the reporter had reason to think the player had quit, then that's probably not an easy time in the athlete's life. If the reporter is going to do his job and get the player to tell his side, he needs to be somebody the athlete can talk to.

    To me, observing how Mike Locksley operates, it seems like he's hypersensitive to how the media portrays him. This is the same coach who accosted a student reporter at a sports bar because the he wrote that the program was in shambles.

    Archuleta (the UNM beat writer) had covered the Lobos for more than a decade. I can't believe the paper wouldn't stand up for him more. And I don't like that the UNM athletics department went over his head.

    I could see a coach in Locksley's awful, self-inflicted, I-killed-a-program situation reading more into the e-mail than what's there, but it seems like all these actions were taken without regard for Archuleta's side of things.
  4. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    That's what i think, too. Archuleta was just trying to establish a connection so the player would open up.

    I really don't think he meant anything bad by it, and it's unfortunate that the university and, I assume the player, took it that way.

    Perhaps it could've been worded a little better but removing him from the beat is overreacting based on these facts.
  5. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    Without seeing the entire e-mail, I'd have the same line of thinking as Batman. Seems odd his paper would throw him under the bus so easily. Can't be an easy beat to cover when the football is so bad. Only person at UNM I could see being happy with the football team's struggles is Rick Alford.
  6. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    I think the operative words is "maybe." Many people in the athletics department probably don't see how he tip-toed around accusing the player of being a quitter if he left the team and leaving the possibility open that the player hasn't left.

    I'm just shocked that folks in the newsroom brass didn't either.
  7. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Active Member

    It seems obvious to me that the writer was simply trying to provoke his subject into commenting. I would think there were other factors involved and this was the tipping point for management to react.
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    We work with words. Our job is to communicate.

    If you are emailing a player you cover -- which I assume for most reporters would not be an everyday thing -- you need to make sure what you write isn't misconstrued. You also have to assume other people will see it.

    That line obviously could be misconstrued. A reporter should know better.

    I don't know if that's what I would have done if I were his boss, but I can understand why he was reassigned.
  9. nmmetsfan

    nmmetsfan Active Member

    Gnat, meet elephant gun
  10. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    According to the article linked, he's averaging a team-leading 29 yards per game.

    I'm gonna let that sink in.
  11. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    I saw that. [Anchorman] "I'm not even mad. That's amazing" [/Anchorman]

    But it sickens me how newspaper management more often than not don't back their reporters or editors. Was it a mistake, yes. But enough to be reassigned? Hell no. Especially for a 30-year vet on the beat.
  12. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I'll go along with that.

    Maybe someone was looking for a reason to reassign him.
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