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An ethics question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by NQLBLQ, Nov 26, 2008.


    NQLBLQ Member

    I’ll try and word this as best as I can while attempting to keep all parties anonymous.

    I worked as a reporter for a local paper for a few years and I covered Big State U. In that time I was a columnist (who didn’t think Big State U. was “all that and a bag of potato chips”) and managed to unearth some academic issues that got Big State U. a bit upset.

    The SID took noticeable exception to me and my work. I would get emails from him every so often, he would talk down to me whenever we had any type of communication and he denied credential requests under my name a few times until either my editor, or I, walked into his office.

    After I left, he informed my former employer that I am not to use the credentials offered to the paper for any reason or they would be taken away.

    I had a couple of freelance opportunities to cover Big Stat U. as I am still in the relative area. The first one, I showed up with the person I was freelancing for and the SID takes the guy aside and (from what I’m told by said guy and his assistant) explodes that I “Can’t fucking be trusted.”

    I am almost fired because of it.

    Second time, same basic idea, sans the cursing. This time it was a direct response to a credential request. Then I get a call from the editor I’m writing for, and he is asking all types of questions and making sure I’m not going to get drunk and use this as a “free ticket” to a game.

    There is a bit more to this story, but I’d rather not get too specific. Both of these happened within the span of a month and a half or so.

    I feel like that is completely unethical. But, who do I talk to about it? Or should I even bother? I know a lot of you guys on here have been around the block for a while and I’d love some insight.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    AFTER you accept a freelance assignment to cover Big State U, I would just explain to the assigning editor in advance that you used to cover the school and did some enterprise reporting that put the school in a bad light and that the SID has taken in personally and that they may hear from the SID.

    Other than that, I think showing the guy that you can't be pushed around, bullied or extorted is sufficient.
  3. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Ask the SID to duke it out in the parking lot. That'll show him.
  4. Kellams

    Kellams New Member

    Everybody has a boss. Have yours (for that assignment) go to his.
  5. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Go to the president of the university if you have to. The SID's behavior is unprofessional and he should be called on it and, you would hope, disciplined for it by his bosses. In short, it ain't his job to tell editors whom to send to cover the U.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    These days, a lot of these SID's won't be disciplined, they'll be praised for behavior like that.
  7. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Maybe I'm not getting the full story here ... but I don't *think*, under NCAA rules, a school can deny credential requests to an accredited news organization for no good reason.

    If they could, I'm pretty sure the school I used to cover wouldn't credential anybody.
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Mizzou is right. No boss of this SID is going to be the least bit concerned about this. They will likely applaud him for protecting the university.

    Maybe an SID can weight in with a different take.

    I think the best revenge/action is to just do your job and keep showing up.

    NQLBLQ Member

    Agreed, being the "responsible adult" is always the best option, I just wanted to see if there was anything else.

    And Mizzou is right. I know someone who went to the SID's superior, for similar treatment, and they got an email saying, sorry. Literally. A one word email.
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