Letters to the EditorOpinion

Letter: Taylor story based on sensationalism

As a journalism student, I tend to read the Oregon Daily Emerald frequently. I like to see what my fellow students are publishing.@@really now? not for the [email protected]@ Yesterday, while on the bus, I spotted the front page of Tuesday’s edition. The front page of our newspaper read “ASUO VP Taylor married to ex-OSPIRG chair.” My first thought was, “Is this a tabloid?”

After I gathered myself,@@obviously [email protected]@ I realized that there was probably more to it than that. There had to be some sort of scandal to make the flagship of our student publications run a front page story about a marriage.

If you haven’t read the article, let me break it down for you. There was a headline (stated above), and a photo of the couple with a caption using language that insinuated shady motives. So, naturally, I was led to believe that there was, in fact, a scandal of sorts.


There was not one thing in that article that gave it any power. I present to you the synopsis of the story: Once upon a time at Lane Community College, Katie Taylor and Charles Denson@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@ met and later became married. After Taylor transferred to the University, she became vice president of the ASUO. Oh, and then there was random placement about how OSPIRG is controversial. The end. That was a nice bedtime story. Now, how about some news?

Let me back up a bit. Throughout the article, Taylor and Denson were quoted numerous times that their personal and professional lives didn’t mix. In fact, that was about half the story. So, why publish it then? Not much of a story, eh? Unless, of course, you’re trying to insinuate that because of the marriage, OSPIRG received more money. This could be bought by conspiracy theorists if Taylor hadn’t been involved in OSPIRG before she was married. Taylor also said on several occasions that she is not the person in charge of giving them recommendations.

OSPIRG is controversial, I agree. If you’re going to write an article saying such, though, look at the facts, not speculation.

For a period of about two weeks now, I’ve been heavily disappointed with the Emerald. It has to be said that as students, we need to be learning journalism, not entertainment. If the writer of this story wants to work for Seventeen when she graduates, that’s her business. But so long as she writes for the Emerald, she should be writing as if it were for The New York Times.@@http://www.nytimes.com/content/help/contact/[email protected]@

And this is where I get to my point: Emily Schiola, the author of the story, was in fact a writer at the Oregon Commentator. Now, by dropping this tidbit of information I bet at least some of the readers out there have immediately judged Schiola as a conservative, biased writer. And they could be right. I personally have no evidence to back that up. Nor do I particularly care what her political affinity is. However, speculating that her work is affected by her personal decisions and beliefs in life isn’t fair. If there were hard facts, I would be writing an opinion piece about how Schiola has conflicts of interest.

The same goes for Vice President Taylor. In journalism, to assume, insinuate and mislead are three of the most deadly sins of our craft. I have to conclude that that is exactly what the Emerald is doing by putting this story on front page news.@@[email protected]@

Schiola is responsible for this article. She is responsible for the bad publicity that Katie Taylor must now endure. And she is responsible for committing these sins. However, the majority of the blame must be taken by the editors of the Emerald. They know better. It is their responsibility to make sure that anything published by their publication is factual, accurate and newsworthy.@@i don’t understand what he is going off [email protected]@ @@beats me [email protected]@

Hey, maybe next time, right?

Kevin Sullivan@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@
University student

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