Letter to the Editor

By Gary J. Konzak


My son?s copy of the Latter day Saints Student Association Century arrived last week, and I read with interest the editorial by Matt Canham, your Editor in Chief. I agree with his assessment of the perceived anti-LDS bias of the paper. Professional journalists try to report objectively.

I do, however, object to his statement, “I can?t look over the shoulder of every person who… writes for The Chronicle.”

Excuse me? Didn?t you say you are the Editor in Chief? Although you don?t need to play “Big Brother” to your writers, including the columnists, are you not the person who sets the standards for how material is presented to the public?

While attending Freshman orientation with my son last month, we picked up a copy of The Chronicle. I read it from cover to cover on the long drive home. Many articles were professional, but some were disappointingly juvenile.

I challenge you to find any city?s newspaper that maintains the same level of crudeness and vulgar language, even in it?s letters to the editor, that your paper allows. Yes, other papers will even edit the content of letters to the editor if necessary to maintain their standards.

It appears that for some of your columnists this is like a high school paper, except now they can get away with [the] swearing and crudeness that most teachers never would have allowed. And no doubt they do it under the guise of “freedom of speech,” or just because they can.

Well, with this particular freedom comes a responsibility to exercise it with discretion. Just because you can, doesn?t mean you should, may be a good phrase to share with your columnists.

I encourage The Chronicle to accept the standards of the rest of the professional publishing world, if you truly want to create a newspaper of distinction.

And Matt, be professional, do the job you agreed to do, and be less worried about the wrath of your columnists and letter writers and more concerned about the tastes of the audience you really should be trying to reach.

Gary J. Konzak