Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The email that I never sent

Last month, the Golden Gate [X]press Online won a the Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press for it's news website. The newspaper also won an award for an edition it entered from this semester. Four editors on the newspaper editorial board planned a trip to the conference in D.C., where the awards were to be given out. Not one of them asked me if I wanted to go, given that the online site was a finalist for the award that we won. By the time I knew about the trip, I could no longer afford the airfare.

Slap. in. the. face. Right?

Well, when they returned from their four day trip in D.C., I wanted to send an email expressing how disheartened I was about their disregard for me and my arm of the publication. But after discussing the situation with an adviser, I was advised to talk to them in person. I did. But I don't think they felt me. And all I got was an 'I'm sorry, so sorry.'

So I saved the draft of the email in my drafts folder, as a memento...

Tell me. Should I have sent the email anyway?

Dear [X]press Editors:

First off, congrats to everyone who was involved during the semester(s) that both the Online and the Newspaper won awards for. I'm glad our hard work here is getting noticed at a national level.

I would be remiss in not mentioning that I feel completely disrespected (professionally) that I was not told about or invited to the convention in D.C. And though I was aware of the trip before the delegates left,I made no "stink" about it because they were hard at work laying out a 28-pager.I feel now is an appropriate time to voice my thoughts.

Me and my team of editors have worked hard all semester, as hard as the newspaper editorial team has. I've made an considerable effort in trying to involve myself in what's going on with the newspaper (coordinating with teasers for online features, collaborating with story packages, and just coming in to see how newspaper folks are doing).

To make a long explanation short, it's a slap in the face when your publication is up for an award and you aren't invited to "the party." I know(name omitted), (name omitted), (name omitted) and (name omitted) had been planning the trip for a while...never once was I approached by any of them about whether I would be able to go. Am I not a part of the team? Asking if I wanted to go would have shown me that I'm respected as a valuable colleague on Xpress's editorial board.

Make no mistake about what I'm saying: this is not about being "lovey-dovey" friends. It's about respect. Whether or not you had intentions of leaving out me or anyone else out...whether or not you were completely ignorant to the fact that someone else besides you four might have wanted to go...

As one of the top editors, I would at least think you would ask me. Especially because Online was up for an award. I didn't find out that Online was up for an award until two days before you four were leaving. I would have loved to be there and celebrate with you. I would have found a way to be there. And the award is a collective victory.

When a paper wins a Pulitzer, they don't just send some heads and not other. They, I hope, give each editor an opportunity to decide; that means in time enough so that it would cost $500-600 to get a ticket two days before. But like I said at the top of this email: I'd be disrespecting myself and my work this semester if I didn't speak up.

Lastly, I appreciate those of you who called from DC to congratulate the Online publication. That was thoughtful. But let's try to be thoughtful in all other areas.

Aaron Morrison
Managing Editor, Golden Gate [X]press Online Fall '07

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Posted by Aaron Morrison at 5:56 PM | link

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Did they get a physical award (certificate, whatever)? Tell them to make sure yours goes to the right address dammit!

Posted by Blogger Vdizzle @ 9:19 PM, November 20, 2007 #

dude, that sounds SO similar to my situation with the student chapter of NABJ it's not even funny. People have no consideration for others most times.

Posted by Blogger Chris @ 2:20 PM, November 21, 2007 #

Congrats on the award.

I've been to ACP/CMA twice it's competitive as a mofo.

The fact that you weren't included in the plans was unprofessional and discourteous.

I'm late but I say do whatever needs to be done so they understand that what they did was wrong!

Posted by Blogger CNEL @ 10:53 PM, November 25, 2007 #

I don't think this will be any comfort to you, but I experienced a similar thing from my newspaper when a project I did was a finalist in the first OND awards. For any other major newspaper award, the potential winner would have been sent to the NYC dinner. I got a pat on the head. Likewise when I won 1st and 2nd in Best of the West against all the major Western newspapers. For me, it was all about being an online journalist, I think. At the time I had 20 years of print journalism under my belt and about 6 years of Web journalism. I am, btw, a white female journalist.

That is not to say there wasn't an element of racism in their actions regarding you. But getting this for the Web didn't help.

They were unprofessional and totally thoughtless.

Posted by Blogger gina @ 4:58 PM, December 02, 2007 #

that was shady, but shadiness happens in this business. You move on. They may have went to get the trophies, but you can put this on your resume and no one will be able to take it away from you. Honestly, though, if you're doing this for awards, you shouldn't be doing it at all, that's my opinion.

Posted by Blogger Slav @ 10:28 PM, December 13, 2007 #
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