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Ever Been Vilified And Absolutely Hated For Something You Wrote?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pete Incaviglia, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Man, I recently wrote a column and I am being vilified by what seems to be half the city. The other half, however, loves me.

    I cringe at the hate mail and breath a sigh of relief when I read ones that shares my opinion.

    In all my time in sports I never wrote a column that generated this kind of feedback. Those I took issue with in my opinion piece are livid. They spit nails at me when I see them. And, there have been times I've been afraid.

    I'd rather not say the topic for fear of outing, but it's a polarizing issue in my city.

    I've never been in this situation. Half the day I love it. Half the day I hate it. I seriously wonder what my neighbors think. Do they share my view? Do they not, and now hate me?

    I was recently at an event where the group I wrote about was. I was there as a photographer only. And the cursing, swearing, name calling and finger-shooting was outrageous.

    Just wondering if anyone else has been in this situation and how they handled it.

    I'm off for a week very SOON and I can't wait.
  2. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Nothing you did wrong, of course, but "divisive" is never how you want your reporters to be considered. They shouldn't be writing columns.
  3. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    Happens all the time.

    If you are going to have an opinion, suck it up and deal with the fact others do, too.

    That said, I refuse to read any kind of anonymous commentary. No on-line comments, nothing. If someone wants to send me a moderately professional email, I will gladly discuss any issue with them.

    But being hated can be part of the job description.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you are doing a good job, Pete. You want opinion columns that are going to get a reaction.
  5. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    When I get to a computer I will tell you about my column that prompted someone to mail me stale cheese and dog shit, caused the team to boycott me in terms of quotes and led one of the fans I liked to start calling me Johnny Fucking Dangerously.
  6. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I respond to the well-written, thoughtful emails - whether they share my view or not. I'll even explain my view further if they ask.

    But I have received some that were/are profanity laced and off base. Those, I delete without response.
  7. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I agree. Reporters shouldn't be writing columns about the subjects they cover. In this case, I am not a reporter on the issue. Although, I have had to shoot some photos. Otherwise, it's an opinion piece in my column space about something I've observed for more than a week.
  8. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Let's see ... a person once threatened to kill me in the middle of a restaurant because he didn't like a NASCAR column I wrote.

    Another came in the newsroom ranting and raving that I was unfair to his alma mater. Then when he found out I went to the same school, he screamed "Traitor!" at me many times before going into the editor's office - probably to see what it would take to get me fired. A couple of years later, he was at a youth baseball game and spent entirely too much time trying to stare me down.

    So ... yeah. It happens.
  9. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Johnny Fucking Dangerously....

    I like it!
  10. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    You are a reporter (I'm calling a photographer a type of reporter) on some issues in the area. You shouldn't be given a column at all, too much opportunity for bad blood.

    (Who actually thinks newspapers should get rid of opinion pages altogether...)
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's quite a strong opinion.
  12. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    I'd like you to explain this view. Opinion is the most popular thing newspapers do. I would also argue that the relative lack of it in most of our reporting has given blogs and fansites and advantage over newspapers.

    This is not to say we shouldn't be reporting objectively or that reporters shouldn't leave their opinions out of their news stories, but it is to say that opinion is a huge draw.

    I actually think beat reporters should be writing columns. If you're fair and responsible, you shouldn't have any problems with your sources. From my own experience as a beat guy with a column, it actually forces you to consider all sides of any issue before opining, something that doesn't necessarily happen if you don't have to regularly interact with the people you're dealing with.
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