SIAP: Why does the Gazette dislike Kirk so much?

Cresthawk

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Oct 8, 2002
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The Gazette is a shadow of its glory days. When the Hladkey's sold and were then forced out of management the paper took a decided left turn. In 2010 they became SourceMedia Group and the downturn started. Then the local business community quit advertising in it and combined with the rise of electronic media it has fallen on hard times. They are expensive as papers go and the other sources of news are more reliable and less politically motivated. As pointed out above, they are desperate. They quit printing the hard copy paper in CR and moved printing to Des Moines. With this change their reporting deadlines have moved up to times that don't allow coverage of events starting after 3-4 pm except on their electronic platform. Their electronic platform can't compete with other cheaper, politically neutral alternatives It's a mess and they are going to try and get clicks anyway they can. I wouldn't worry too much about the subject article. They have a credibility crisis.
 

amahawk

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Ferentz’s defenders point out ad nauseam that his salary is funded by sports revenue and not by taxes, but that distinction is meaningless. The university is a government entity with special privileges private actors aren’t entitled to, so all of its departments have special obligations to be transparent and accessible.

We don’t give free passes to professors whose positions are supported by outside foundations or to police programs funded by forfeiture. From any reasonable perspective, UI athletics programs ought to be accountable to the public.


Well, I'm not entirely sure I agree with this. No one at the U holds an elected position.
I can't wait for major amateur(?) athletics to be separated from universities in a club or league system. The CR Gazette can shove it.
 
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amahawk

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Oh, for the days of Gus Schrader and his daily column Red Peppers. Always informative, entertaining and Hawkish.

CRG gets rid of Dochertman and Morehouse and retains cynicism personified. Go figure.

The sports section is getting so bad that Linn County birds in cages lined with it are asking for PETA’s help.
CR Gazette is crap.
 

noStemsnoSTICKS

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Feb 16, 2006
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Seems pretty harsh to me.

While I don't disagree with you point about the Gazette, becoming more transparent and forthcoming could only help his program. Perception can become the reality if it goes unchecked. I don't think KF is racist, nor do I think he runs an racist program. Historically he's had a very positive reputation.

But every time his name appears in a headline along with race, diversity, bullying, etc., rival schools make hay with it.
 

LarryMullenJr.

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Dec 7, 2011
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The Gazette is a shadow of its glory days. When the Hladkey's sold and were then forced out of management the paper took a decided left turn. In 2010 they became SourceMedia Group and the downturn started. Then the local business community quit advertising in it and combined with the rise of electronic media it has fallen on hard times. They are expensive as papers go and the other sources of news are more reliable and less politically motivated. As pointed out above, they are desperate. They quit printing the hard copy paper in CR and moved printing to Des Moines. With this change their reporting deadlines have moved up to times that don't allow coverage of events starting after 3-4 pm except on their electronic platform. Their electronic platform can't compete with other cheaper, politically neutral alternatives It's a mess and they are going to try and get clicks anyway they can. I wouldn't worry too much about the subject article. They have a credibility crisis.
This basically nails it.
 

David1979

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Oct 17, 2013
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While I don't disagree with you point about the Gazette, becoming more transparent and forthcoming could only help his program. Perception can become the reality if it goes unchecked. I don't think KF is racist, nor do I think he runs an racist program. Historically he's had a very positive reputation.

But every time his name appears in a headline along with race, diversity, bullying, etc., rival schools make hay with it.
I agree being more open would help them but let's say Kirk tells them point by point the changes he has made. I don't think even then the Gazette would be happy. They would say, well it is just him telling us that but we don't know for sure. I mean they got more detail when they saw the letter to parents and they still don't believe it so I am not sure what they want. Further, they could reach out to Broderick Binns an interview him on changes that are being made, not only in football but all across the AD and they haven't.
 

hawk224

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So you are saying the Gazette should do for Kirk what Fox/OAN do for Trump? Right on. Even if they go 0-12 or there's a rape cover up? (since racial bias is no big deal evidently)

There are so many fragile/hear no evil little bitches in this fan base it's fuggin embarrassing
The only embarrassing thing is attempting to create stories rather than report the facts
 

MepoDawg#

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So you are saying the Gazette should do for Kirk what Fox/OAN do for Trump? Right on. Even if they go 0-12 or there's a rape cover up? (since racial bias is no big deal evidently)

There are so many fragile/hear no evil little bitches in this fan base it's fuggin embarrassing
Is anyone suggesting that? They’re saying report facts, which they didn’t and when provided context they still lie.
 

ghostOfHomer777

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This is 2022 all they care about is clicks
Well, it's a trade-off, right?

They DO need to sell a product, right? However, in order to do their job ... they need/want access. But, most institutions try to do their darnedest to control the message/narrative.

The article WAS an editorial ... hence, that is a nice way to preface things by saying that the article would have a definite slant. Had they tried to pass it off as something other than an editorial - then that would justifiably lead to a stronger indictment of it.

How it reads to me ... it strikes me as being a little vindictive ... that they're working themselves in a tantrum for not getting more access. Of course, on the flip side ... usually the best journalism is done by local journalists. National (news) outlets largely poach content from the smaller markets. Thus, were I a local Iowa City/Cedar Rapids journalist ... I'd probably be in a snit if other folks are scooping me with marginally supported work (notice that many articles out there have limited sources ... largely just Porter).

Anyhow, the news-media folks ... your Fox News, your CNNs, MSNBCs, etc ... all that is for entertainment. You have to squint really tight to tease out critical and relevant content. Most if it is simply dogmatic drivel ... it just depends on your brand of drivel.
 

MepoDawg#

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Well, it's a trade-off, right?

They DO need to sell a product, right? However, in order to do their job ... they need/want access. But, most institutions try to do their darnedest to control the message/narrative.

The article WAS an editorial ... hence, that is a nice way to preface things by saying that the article would have a definite slant. Had they tried to pass it off as something other than an editorial - then that would justifiably lead to a stronger indictment of it.

How it reads to me ... it strikes me as being a little vindictive ... that they're working themselves in a tantrum for not getting more access. Of course, on the flip side ... usually the best journalism is done by local journalists. National (news) outlets largely poach content from the smaller markets. Thus, were I a local Iowa City/Cedar Rapids journalist ... I'd probably be in a snit if other folks are scooping me with marginally supported work (notice that many articles out there have limited sources ... largely just Porter).

Anyhow, the news-media folks ... your Fox News, your CNNs, MSNBCs, etc ... all that is for entertainment. You have to squint really tight to tease out critical and relevant content. Most if it is simply dogmatic drivel ... it just depends on your brand of drivel.
The ‘editorial’ wasn’t the first they’ve wrote about it.
 
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The Deplorable Sleeping Dog

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I think it is hilarious to that, that reporter who did the first story, what's her name, miller? she thinks her first story brought on change. She tweeted something about how her story forced Kirk to make sure the committee continued. Lol He said it was continuing in the first email, moron. I feel like there must not be someone there to be a voice of reason either that or they aren't listening so its creating an echo chamber where they just tell each other they are doing a great job.

You just defined the course of modern journalism. They are shit eating flies that bother and annoy the rest of the world. Truth and facts simply do not matter to "journalists" great or small-and this Vanessa chick is about as penny ante as it gets.

They're like social workers, they define their presence in any situation as self-evident proof of wrong-doing. There must be a bad guy to be ousted somewhere. It's really been destructive over the last 50 years.

Is the Gazette credentialed by the University? Certainly no one associated with the U of Iowa should ever talk to a Gazette reporter about anything. Just freeze them out. Sorry, no room in the press box. I would have someone shadow them and report on anyone that spoke to them. Make their lives miserable. Believe me, the Gazette needs Iowa more than Iowa needs the Gazette.
 
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Of what are you suspicious? Do you think there's something shady going on at the University of Iowa? Is KF having secret KKK meetings and he feared David Porter's fat ass would discover them? If you aren't comfortable with Kirk's fundamental decency by now you never will be.
Dog, if you read my post and didn’t let your emotions get you all twisted up you would see I was suspicious of why the AD PR team did such a crappy job of handling this situation. I know there is a pending lawsuit and one member of the inner circle got asked to leave due to the lawsuit’s allegations. Of course Kirk isn’t a KKK enabler, nor is he in any manner overtly racist. He is a genuinely good man and father from everything we know. But either he acted out of a fit of anger (which I don’t think is true because I know he has control of his emotions) or the PR team botched this making him look horrible and tarnishing the program yet again.

Dog, you clearly want to turn this into an anti-media, pro-grievance rant which is fine. I genuinely want to know why the Athletic Dept PR staff walked the university into this shit show again. If you cared half as much about the program as your own grievances with the current state of the world then you would share that concern.
 

The Deplorable Sleeping Dog

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Dog, you clearly want to turn this into an anti-media, pro-grievance rant which is fine. I genuinely want to know why the Athletic Dept PR staff walked the university into this shit show again.
Don't pretend innocence.

If the lack of good PR is your true concern, then the answer is pretty simple. Barta is terrible at marketing and public relations. Indeed, having Barta say nothing is probably the best option for Iowa.
 

DodgerHawki

HR Heisman
Nov 19, 2002
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Oh, for the days of Gus Schrader and his daily column Red Peppers. Always informative, entertaining and Hawkish.

CRG gets rid of Dochertman and Morehouse and retains cynicism personified. Go figure.

The sports section is getting so bad that Linn County birds in cages lined with it are asking for PETA’s help.
It is quite a precipitous drop to what we are seeing today, with the exception of Hlas. He has views I don't agree with, but he is at least honest in his reporting and commentary. He is often critical, but in a way that sticks to what is known rather than trying to follow a narrative.

That editorial screams of agenda. They basically hate the fact that sports exist and that so many people care about it, and that the coaches are paid a lot of money. Any opportunity to tear it down will be used.

But yes, let's use tax dollars to "support local journalism" to basically be scolded non stop how stupid we are.
 

DodgerHawki

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Also, reading it again, I just found another mistake. They say Kirk is currently a defendant in the ongoing lawsuit. lol false Talk about shitty reporters. And since when do professors have to talk to the media? They don't. Also, they act like unless Kirk tells them exactly what steps have been taken then no progress has been made. Talk about self-righteous. This seems like they are on a campaign to lose subscribers. Is this a "The Producers" scenario?
100% right on all counts. How old are the people writing this editorial, 12? Seriously, it sounds like logic from that level of thinking. I'm not generally one for advocating a media outlet be denied access, but at this point it is ridiculous.
 

ghostOfHomer777

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May 20, 2014
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Dog, if you read my post and didn’t let your emotions get you all twisted up you would see I was suspicious of why the AD PR team did such a crappy job of handling this situation. I know there is a pending lawsuit and one member of the inner circle got asked to leave due to the lawsuit’s allegations. Of course Kirk isn’t a KKK enabler, nor is he in any manner overtly racist. He is a genuinely good man and father from everything we know. But either he acted out of a fit of anger (which I don’t think is true because I know he has control of his emotions) or the PR team botched this making him look horrible and tarnishing the program yet again.

Dog, you clearly want to turn this into an anti-media, pro-grievance rant which is fine. I genuinely want to know why the Athletic Dept PR staff walked the university into this shit show again. If you cared half as much about the program as your own grievances with the current state of the world then you would share that concern.
It strikes me that part of the deal is that "communication" issues have been a common problem in Kirk's tenure. Had players felt comfortable enough to voice their grievances earlier concerning racially insensitive occurrences ... then folks like Doyle and Brian would have gotten chided and retrained earlier on such issues ... and issues would never have festered and reached the ultimate boiling point that it had.

This was very much a breach in the communication channels ... and less an issue of any rampant or systemic occurrence of racism.

If you've tracked the sort of psychological strategies that Ferentz and Co have attempted to implement ... most have been aimed at breaking down barriers and encouraging team-building. For instance, the attempt to homogenize how Hawkeye players presented themselves ... that is a textbook situation that many organizations implement that relate to requiring a dress-code (like many corporations, many academies, and the military). However, Doyle's actions aggravated things AND many Iowa players (like Marcel Joly) perceived the policy as restricting their ethnic identity. Given that some of the practices seemed to get enforced more post the whole city-boyz off-field issues ... part of the attempt may have been intended to reduce things that may have been perceived as linked to gang-affiliations/behaviors. Was the intent malevolent? Would they have also cracked down on similar demonstrations linked to "Proud Boys" and whatnot? ... one would hope.

Without question, the establishment of feedback channels that would facilitate proactive information exchange ... to inform Kirk about these issues ... that was critical ... and yet was lacking.

What we saw with the dissolving of the prior advisory group ... it likely came at the expense of a conflict of agendas. Porter likely was ambitious and hoped that the purpose/intent of the group was to do more. However, the bigger role of the group was to supply feedback to Ferentz and those in power ... and to facilitate information exchange. It may have been that Porter (among others) may have viewed the advisory group as a bigger vehicle for change than its original intention. That obviously culminated in some sentiments of disappointment and frustration.

I admit full ignorance here ... but it strikes me that this could have been the result of another failure in communication ... that falls directly at the feet of Kirk. Don't get me wrong ... Kirk's clearly busy on many, many fronts ... and I'm willing to bet that his intent was not to have such a failure. However, productive and proactive communication requires giving your colleagues (like those of the advisory group) more warning should there be changes in the group's meetings and whatnot. People naturally want to feel "heard" and to have their voice matter. Some of Kirk's unilateral changes may have led some to perceive/feel that he wasn't taking the advisory group seriously. Again ... that likely was not the intent ... but poor communication led for that perception to get fostered (and fester).

We further saw communication issues arise ... as others have frequently noted ... by Kirk's botched announcement of the dissolving of the advisory group. Obviously, the whole exchange was a complete mismanagement of a delicate PR situation (a situation made delicate by the context of the ongoing lawsuit).

It's pretty self-explanatory that when the advisory committee no longer performs its tasked duties ... of supplying a feedback mechanism for Kirk and the staff to be made aware of concerns so that they can address them head-on ... then changes are required. The fact that the Porter steered the committee in the direction that he had ... departed from what the group was tasked to accomplish ... led to its ultimate dissolution. While many fans here have been quick to throw Porter under the bus. It's also the fault of Kirk (and the athletic department) for not doing a better job of being more clear about the expectations for the sort of role the group was intended to have.

Of course, part of the issue may have been that when you try ANYTHING new like this ... you might not entirely have a clear idea of what direction it needs to go in. Consequently, the old adage applies ... you cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. This first iteration of the advisory committee is obviously the first broken egg. Hopefully and ideally, it is not the last ... continuing to try to do the "right thing" is still the direction I'm sure everyone wants to move in.

The point of my long-rambling post here ... what we've been seeing with Kirk is that communication clearly CAN be an issue with him. Hopefully he keeps on working on it. I'm willing to bet that it's pretty common to see this sort of behavior manifest among folks who wield the sort of power he possesses. Hopefully, he shared a common uncle with Peter Parker ...
 
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ghostOfHomer777

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May 20, 2014
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Don't pretend innocence.

If the lack of good PR is your true concern, then the answer is pretty simple. Barta is terrible at marketing and public relations. Indeed, having Barta say nothing is probably the best option for Iowa.
Ferentz's power doesn't help things ... Barta is effectively impotent to control Kirk. So some of the issues still fall at the feet of Kirk.

But yes ... Barta definitely has his fair share of egg on his face too.

Where both Barta and Kirk seem to excel ... schmoozing with the deep pockets.
 
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nbanflfactory

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Well, it's a trade-off, right?

They DO need to sell a product, right? However, in order to do their job ... they need/want access. But, most institutions try to do their darnedest to control the message/narrative.

The article WAS an editorial ... hence, that is a nice way to preface things by saying that the article would have a definite slant. Had they tried to pass it off as something other than an editorial - then that would justifiably lead to a stronger indictment of it.

How it reads to me ... it strikes me as being a little vindictive ... that they're working themselves in a tantrum for not getting more access. Of course, on the flip side ... usually the best journalism is done by local journalists. National (news) outlets largely poach content from the smaller markets. Thus, were I a local Iowa City/Cedar Rapids journalist ... I'd probably be in a snit if other folks are scooping me with marginally supported work (notice that many articles out there have limited sources ... largely just Porter).

Anyhow, the news-media folks ... your Fox News, your CNNs, MSNBCs, etc ... all that is for entertainment. You have to squint really tight to tease out critical and relevant content. Most if it is simply dogmatic drivel ... it just depends on your brand of drivel.
They aren't "selling" me anything ;)
 

The Deplorable Sleeping Dog

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However, Doyle's actions aggravated things AND many Iowa players (like Marcel Joly) perceived the policy as restricting their ethnic identity.

Don't you think organizations remain organized by specifically not recognizing "ethnic identity", or really much individualism at all. A person joins an organization that has specific organizational norms, which include dress and behavior. The individual has two choices: 1) conform their behavior to the organization, which preexisted the individual and will exist after the individual leaves; or 2) join a different organization more consistent with the individual's choice. Anything else becomes the tyranny of the crankiest or most sensitive member.

Of course, not every organization requires the same level of compliance and team orientation as football. Nor would football require team orientation and individual submersion as the military and then as military at war.

And the last two season's improved recruiting is evidence that race baiting hasn't hurt recruiting, because no one believes it.​
 

The Deplorable Sleeping Dog

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Where both Barta and Kirk seem to excel ... schmoozing with the deep pockets

The single most important attribute after winning. No money, no football.

They should elevate Jason Manson's profile. Young and telegenic. Spends a lot of time with the players about non-football relaced situations, so he'd have a good feel for team mood in each room.
 
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amahawk

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So you are saying the Gazette should do for Kirk what Fox/OAN do for Trump? Right on. Even if they go 0-12 or there's a rape cover up? (since racial bias is no big deal evidently)

There are so many fragile/hear no evil little bitches in this fan base it's fuggin embarrassing
Or CNN for Biden!
 
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DodgerHawki

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I agree being more open would help them but let's say Kirk tells them point by point the changes he has made. I don't think even then the Gazette would be happy. They would say, well it is just him telling us that but we don't know for sure. I mean they got more detail when they saw the letter to parents and they still don't believe it so I am not sure what they want. Further, they could reach out to Broderick Binns an interview him on changes that are being made, not only in football but all across the AD and they haven't.
Yeah it appears that they aren't really interested in truth. What would make them happy? Be invited to every internal team meeting? Be invited to every future advisory committee meeting? Not happening, nor should it. I just don't see what their end game is.
 

iahawkeyes17

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Gazette did a poor job in initial article. Reaching out to one member whose opinion differed from the rest. Poor headline and use of words to describe the future of the committee. All to be the “first” or get clicks. Meanwhile some of few respected Iowa journalist like dochterman exposed their shoddy journalism with his well written non biased story in the athletic.

worst part is they doubled down immediately after. Multiple gazette writers going on Twitter trying to defend it after letter to the parents and emails surfaced. Even the lady who wrote it somehow thought publishing an email would help with her case and did they exact opposite causing her and others like harty and Howe defending her on social media to get roasted. Now they come out with this editorial piece. Best decision would be to let the subject matter die and stop writing about it because they keep shooting them selves in the foot when they do. It’s almost as if Gary barta took control of the gazette considering how poorly they’ve handled it.
 

Lumas Etima

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So, fun fact -- I spent 20 years as a newspaper editor (not in Iowa), so perhaps I have a perspective that might be valuable.

My take on the editorial is that this is basically the editorial team standing by its reporters. Circling the wagons, so to speak. John Steppe seems like a pretty young guy (only been on the Hawkeye beat since September, I think), and I doubt they want to throw him under the bus. You also get a sense that they feel like they have a role to play in holding Ferentz and the football program accountable. Fair enough, but it does come across as kind of obtuse.

I am much more critical of the original story, which felt rushed and quick to condemn. Use of words like "abruptly" and "contentious" in the headline created an aggressive tone from the beginning. The story also misrepresented the purpose of the committee and made no effort to identify other members of the committee (which other reporters in the state were able to get.)

It was lazy reporting. I know because I've been there. This reminds me of a story my paper did once upon a time, only with us, it wasn't a football program, but a major local employer. The company had been accused of racial discrimination in a lawsuit, and they were ultimately ordered to pay a fine. We had the information from the lawsuit, so we had most of the facts. Our reporter made a passing attempt to reach the company for comment, but without success. This was pretty common; our local companies (heavy industry) were notoriously known to ignore local media. So we ran the story without their comment. And the fallout was not good, especially since the local company was well-connected to the local power structure. Our mistake was not trying harder to get in touch with someone from the company. This resulted in a one-sided story. Yes, the company's response would likely have mostly been "spin," but they deserved an opportunity to tell their side. We got in too big a hurry to get the story out. But that's the mentality in the daily news business -- get the story, get the facts, and get it out -- you generally don't have time to go through multiple drafts and revisions, like you're writing a term paper for rhetoric class. The beast must be fed. This is a flaw in journalism. The reality is that holding a story for a day usually is just fine -- especially with sensitive stories that have the potential to damage local entities.

Full disclosure: In the days following our gaffe, I defended our decision, much like the Gazette has done. I thought it was important to stand by my reporter. After all, for the most part, the story was accurate. But now, years later, I can stand back and acknowledge that we could have done better. In the heat of battle, I am sure this will be hard for the Gazette writers and editors to do; but with time, their perspective might change, as mine did.

I only write all this to say that while there are indeed many cases of bad journalism -- and I believe the Gazette's coverage is a good example -- there's no reason to call out all journalists with blanket condemnation. Gathering news and reporting information is not easy. The majority of those doing it -- especially at the local level -- have good intentions. Yes, sometimes they lose their way, and they deserve criticism. But know that most of them are committed to the noble task of keeping their communities informed.
 

iahawkeyes17

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So, fun fact -- I spent 20 years as a newspaper editor (not in Iowa), so perhaps I have a perspective that might be valuable.

My take on the editorial is that this is basically the editorial team standing by its reporters. Circling the wagons, so to speak. John Steppe seems like a pretty young guy (only been on the Hawkeye beat since September, I think), and I doubt they want to throw him under the bus. You also get a sense that they feel like they have a role to play in holding Ferentz and the football program accountable. Fair enough, but it does come across as kind of obtuse.

I am much more critical of the original story, which felt rushed and quick to condemn. Use of words like "abruptly" and "contentious" in the headline created an aggressive tone from the beginning. The story also misrepresented the purpose of the committee and made no effort to identify other members of the committee (which other reporters in the state were able to get.)

It was lazy reporting. I know because I've been there. This reminds me of a story my paper did once upon a time, only with us, it wasn't a football program, but a major local employer. The company had been accused of racial discrimination in a lawsuit, and they were ultimately ordered to pay a fine. We had the information from the lawsuit, so we had most of the facts. Our reporter made a passing attempt to reach the company for comment, but without success. This was pretty common; our local companies (heavy industry) were notoriously known to ignore local media. So we ran the story without their comment. And the fallout was not good, especially since the local company was well-connected to the local power structure. Our mistake was not trying harder to get in touch with someone from the company. This resulted in a one-sided story. Yes, the company's response would likely have mostly been "spin," but they deserved an opportunity to tell their side. We got in too big a hurry to get the story out. But that's the mentality in the daily news business -- get the story, get the facts, and get it out -- you generally don't have time to go through multiple drafts and revisions, like you're writing a term paper for rhetoric class. The beast must be fed. This is a flaw in journalism. The reality is that holding a story for a day usually is just fine -- especially with sensitive stories that have the potential to damage local entities.

Full disclosure: In the days following our gaffe, I defended our decision, much like the Gazette has done. I thought it was important to stand by my reporter. After all, for the most part, the story was accurate. But now, years later, I can stand back and acknowledge that we could have done better. In the heat of battle, I am sure this will be hard for the Gazette writers and editors to do; but with time, their perspective might change, as mine did.

I only write all this to say that while there are indeed many cases of bad journalism -- and I believe the Gazette's coverage is a good example -- there's no reason to call out all journalists with blanket condemnation. Gathering news and reporting information is not easy. The majority of those doing it -- especially at the local level -- have good intentions. Yes, sometimes they lose their way, and they deserve criticism. But know that most of them are committed to the noble task of keeping their communities informed.
I think the irony of this is they were critical of KF with the comment by porter saying Kirk will fall on his sword doing anything to protect any of his coaches especially brian. Yet the gazette is doing the same thing with their reporters after this failed piece of journalism.
 

Hwk-I-St8

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The first article was very poorly done. It read like a hit piece...grabbing everything negative, ignoring anything positive or mitigating. Then it used inflammatory words to sensationalize the whole thing. They also published on a Sunday, which is the biggest distribution. Honestly, it was fit for the tabloids. Then it's been doubling down ever since.

The annoying part is that anyone other than savvy fans will take it all at face value instead of finding out "the rest of the story". I'm not sure why they wrote the first article as a hit piece, but they painted themselves into a corner so now they just keep dumping fuel on the fire.

They completely burned a bridge with me. The Gazette is dead to me. We have a paper subscription, I'm going to try to convince my wife to drop the paper. It'll be a hard sell, but I'm going to push. Maybe switch to the Dsm rag instead.
 

MepoDawg#

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So, fun fact -- I spent 20 years as a newspaper editor (not in Iowa), so perhaps I have a perspective that might be valuable.

My take on the editorial is that this is basically the editorial team standing by its reporters. Circling the wagons, so to speak. John Steppe seems like a pretty young guy (only been on the Hawkeye beat since September, I think), and I doubt they want to throw him under the bus. You also get a sense that they feel like they have a role to play in holding Ferentz and the football program accountable. Fair enough, but it does come across as kind of obtuse.

I am much more critical of the original story, which felt rushed and quick to condemn. Use of words like "abruptly" and "contentious" in the headline created an aggressive tone from the beginning. The story also misrepresented the purpose of the committee and made no effort to identify other members of the committee (which other reporters in the state were able to get.)

It was lazy reporting. I know because I've been there. This reminds me of a story my paper did once upon a time, only with us, it wasn't a football program, but a major local employer. The company had been accused of racial discrimination in a lawsuit, and they were ultimately ordered to pay a fine. We had the information from the lawsuit, so we had most of the facts. Our reporter made a passing attempt to reach the company for comment, but without success. This was pretty common; our local companies (heavy industry) were notoriously known to ignore local media. So we ran the story without their comment. And the fallout was not good, especially since the local company was well-connected to the local power structure. Our mistake was not trying harder to get in touch with someone from the company. This resulted in a one-sided story. Yes, the company's response would likely have mostly been "spin," but they deserved an opportunity to tell their side. We got in too big a hurry to get the story out. But that's the mentality in the daily news business -- get the story, get the facts, and get it out -- you generally don't have time to go through multiple drafts and revisions, like you're writing a term paper for rhetoric class. The beast must be fed. This is a flaw in journalism. The reality is that holding a story for a day usually is just fine -- especially with sensitive stories that have the potential to damage local entities.

Full disclosure: In the days following our gaffe, I defended our decision, much like the Gazette has done. I thought it was important to stand by my reporter. After all, for the most part, the story was accurate. But now, years later, I can stand back and acknowledge that we could have done better. In the heat of battle, I am sure this will be hard for the Gazette writers and editors to do; but with time, their perspective might change, as mine did.

I only write all this to say that while there are indeed many cases of bad journalism -- and I believe the Gazette's coverage is a good example -- there's no reason to call out all journalists with blanket condemnation. Gathering news and reporting information is not easy. The majority of those doing it -- especially at the local level -- have good intentions. Yes, sometimes they lose their way, and they deserve criticism. But know that most of them are committed to the noble task of keeping their communities informed.
The issue many have isn’t necessarily the opinion part, it’s getting the facts wrong and doubling/tripling down on it. If they want to write opinion pieces and/or help hold them accountable then go ahead, but when you put inaccurate information out there you better be ready for the blowback. Seems to me they had more info right away but still went with it. That’s their downfall. Oh and confusing KF’s personal committee with UI’s DEI Task Force.
 

Gary-Waterloo

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Apr 26, 2003
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The good news is that this story was so one sided that it was really just a blip in the news cycle. It actually gives Iowa a chance to say articles are misleading about what they are doing. It also can be a learning experience for Coach Ferentz to proofread his communications on the topic better. That being said, no matter what Kirk said in the email of restructuring the committee, this was always going to be a piece where Porter could air his grievances. Kirk gave then ammo in using the term dissolved but this was always going to be about Kirk not doing every little thing rhat Porter wanted done.

I get defending their staff but the staff dug a deep hole with so lme of their insane defenses on Twitter.
 

cidhawkeye

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Jun 21, 2009
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The first article was very poorly done. It read like a hit piece...grabbing everything negative, ignoring anything positive or mitigating. Then it used inflammatory words to sensationalize the whole thing. They also published on a Sunday, which is the biggest distribution. Honestly, it was fit for the tabloids. Then it's been doubling down ever since.

The annoying part is that anyone other than savvy fans will take it all at face value instead of finding out "the rest of the story". I'm not sure why they wrote the first article as a hit piece, but they painted themselves into a corner so now they just keep dumping fuel on the fire.

They completely burned a bridge with me. The Gazette is dead to me. We have a paper subscription, I'm going to try to convince my wife to drop the paper. It'll be a hard sell, but I'm going to push. Maybe switch to the Dsm rag instead.
If you think the gazette is bad....make the switch to the register.......such a sad turn....in college a million years ago my Grandma would give me a year subscription to the Register for the year when I reported to camp in August. What a fall from greatness.
 

Hwk-I-St8

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Nov 10, 2009
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If you think the gazette is bad....make the switch to the register.......such a sad turn....in college a million years ago my Grandma would give me a year subscription to the Register for the year when I reported to camp in August. What a fall from greatness.

Crap - she likes to read national news and do all the puzzles....I'd like to wean her off of the crapzette after this last fiasco