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Letter to the Editor: Tribune owes university money, reasons for support

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We are writing in response to your Feb. 19 staff editorial, “Long live the Trib.” The editorial referred to the Feb. 13 meeting of the University Board for Student Media, stating, “It seemed the board members went into the meeting with their minds already made up – the Tribune needed to cut its pages.”

A Marquette Journal student representative was at that meeting. The board chairman shared with members a direct instruction from the provost of the university to cut student media expenditures and address revenue issues – revenue issues that indicate student media owes the university $33,000.

A decision was not made in the meeting to cut Tribune pages. But immediate reactions from the Tribune staff on social media and in published statements indicated otherwise.

Instantly sensationalizing inaccurate information – even if some of it has since been retracted and rectified – is not an example of good journalism. Your facts weren’t correct. You fueled the fire with fallacies, and it’s still burning. You’re working against the kind of journalism you say you are fighting for.

Give the university, college and student media board a reason to help you, and maybe they will.

 

Sarah Butler

Managing Editor, The Marquette Journal

Alexandra Engler

Editor-in-Chief, The Marquette Journal

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19 Comments

19 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Tribune owes university money, reasons for support”

  1. Tim Cigelske on February 21st, 2013 11:22 pm

    Thank you.

  2. Tim Cigelske on February 21st, 2013 11:22 pm

    Thank you.

  3. Tim Cigelske on February 21st, 2013 11:22 pm

    Thank you.

  4. Maria Tsikalas on February 22nd, 2013 1:28 am

    … because being the premier Marquette news source read by thousands of students, prospective students, faculty, staff and alumni isn’t “a reason to help” the Tribune.

  5. Sarah Butler on February 22nd, 2013 2:06 am

    If it was, yes, that would be a good reason.

  6. Benjamin Fate on February 22nd, 2013 2:08 pm

    Thanks, Guest, for giving me a laugh this lovely Friday afternoon. As much as anyone would like to believe otherwise, 3,000-4,000 copies of the Tribune are picked up EVERY Tuesday and EVERY Thursday. Also… dialogue such as this would never take place on the Journal’s or MUTV’s site. If anyone is questioning the popularity of the Tribune, that is called a delusion.

  7. Guest on February 22nd, 2013 2:57 pm

    The 3,000 to 4,000 that are picked up every week, does that include the ones that sit in the basement of Johnson until they get thrown out? The ones used by students just for Sudokus? The ones that sit in a location until they are replaced with the next weeks? You may print that many, but I would imagine most are trashed or used for their non news purposes (Sudokus, crosswords, etc…)

  8. Benjamin Fate on February 22nd, 2013 3:02 pm

    Great question! And no, we print 7,000 copies every Tuesday and 7,000 copies every Thursday, not “3,000 to 4,000 every week.” About half are picked up. Unfortunately, we’ve never done a reader survey to find out how many students only use the Tribune for Sudoku. Who would fill it out if they’re not reading it?

  9. Guest on February 22nd, 2013 3:10 pm

    You print 7,000 every Tuesday and Thursday and only 3,000 to 4,000 are picked up – sounds like you may have solved the issue, if that isn’t wasted spending, then what is?

  10. Benjamin Fate on February 22nd, 2013 4:14 pm

    Another good question! That was actually one of the first proposals made by Trib staff upon hearing about the budget cuts, but was essentially ruled out as an option because advertisers are told that 7,000 copies are printed. Most of this was covered quite thoroughly by the thoughtful editorial published in Tuesday’s issue of the Tribune. Perhaps if you read the editorial you would have a more developed understanding of the problem. You can find it here: http://marquettetribune.org/2013/02/19/viewpoints/editorial-trib-pages/

  11. Guest on February 22nd, 2013 4:30 pm

    Another great question! Cutting the number of issues printed was one of the first proposals made by Trib staff, but because ads are sold based on the number of issues we print, a cut in the number of issues is not an option for the advertising department. This was actually covered quite thoroughly in the thoughtful editorial in Tuesday’s issue of the Tribune. You can read about it here: https://marquettetribune.org/2013/02/19/viewpoints/editorial-trib-pages/

  12. Benjamin Fate on February 22nd, 2013 3:56 pm

    Another great question! Cutting the number of issues printed was one of the first proposals made by Trib staff, but because ads are sold based on the number of issues we print, a cut in the number of issues is not an option for the advertising department. This was actually covered quite thoroughly in the thoughtful editorial in Tuesday’s issue of the Tribune.

  13. Molly Gamble on February 22nd, 2013 11:18 am

    Tim, as director of social media at Marquette, don’t you face an inherent conflict of interest by endorsing one student publication
    over another? This comment, not to mention previous comments on the matter via your Twitter, suggests a blatant bias that overwhelms any flimsy “views are my own” disclaimer. It’s distressing that Marquette’s social media conversations with students, alumni and others about the budget cuts are overseen by someone who lacks basic
    professionalism and objectivity.

  14. Molly Gamble on February 22nd, 2013 11:18 am

    Tim, as director of social media at Marquette, don’t you face an inherent conflict of interest by endorsing one student publication
    over another? This comment, not to mention previous comments on the matter via your Twitter, suggests a blatant bias that overwhelms any flimsy “views are my own” disclaimer. It’s distressing that Marquette’s social media conversations with students, alumni and others about the budget cuts are overseen by someone who lacks basic
    professionalism and objectivity.

  15. Molly Gamble on February 22nd, 2013 11:18 am

    Tim, as director of social media at Marquette, don’t you face an inherent conflict of interest by endorsing one student publication
    over another? This comment, not to mention previous comments on the matter via your Twitter, suggests a blatant bias that overwhelms any flimsy “views are my own” disclaimer. It’s distressing that Marquette’s social media conversations with students, alumni and others about the budget cuts are overseen by someone who lacks basic
    professionalism and objectivity.

  16. Tim Cigelske on February 22nd, 2013 11:45 am

    Hi Molly,

    You are right. I have my own thoughts and views as a Marquette Tribune alum and former newspaper reporter, but unfortunately I can’t separate that from my professional role. I apologized privately to Maria and I’d like to do the same for you, and as I shared with her I’d be happy to meet in person to hear your thoughts and, if possible, share my own perspective – not as an employee, but as a journalism alum. I’m sincere about that and would invite your or anyone from the Tribune to meet. Feel free to reach out to me directly and we can set something up.

  17. Joe Scannell on February 22nd, 2013 12:09 pm

    That is absolutely ridiculous. Tim did everything by the books in his capacity as Marquette’s social media director. He responded to all of the angry and disgruntled tweets and informed them that he would be passing along their concerns to the school. He even said personally that he believed it was important for students to have their concerns heard. He has every right to have an opinion about this issue and clearly it hasn’t affected the school’s handling of the fabricated crisis.

    I’m glad someone was able to provide a second side to this story, so I too say “Thank you.”

  18. Benjamin Fate on February 22nd, 2013 2:33 pm

    Thank YOU, Molly.

  19. Benjamin Fate on February 22nd, 2013 2:25 pm

    When will this mindset be corrected? The Tribune is absolutely NOT a self-sufficient business and owes the university nothing. It is a student organization and an unofficial extension of the journalism curriculum. Furthermore, Trib ad sales are completely separated from the journalistic side of the operation and are outside of the newsroom’s control. The social media reaction to the potential cuts was carried out by supporters of student media (Trib-affiliated and otherwise) who fully believed–with good reason–that the cuts would be made. The reaction was exactly what needed to happen and served the purpose of showing the University community exactly how devastating any type of cut to student media would be.

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