Editor, the Gauntlet: Letters

By Dennis Kerber

Editor, the Gauntlet.

Re: “Report cards, Swimming,” March 27, 2003.

“F,” you think nodding to yourself in an interested fashion. The most confrontational letter grade in the system, F evokes feelings of anger and rage and the sudden realization that one’s brain must be shriveled.

One F may well be the end of Karoline’s journalistic career, as it is a sure indication that she lacks the intellectual abilities of any ambitious journalist.

Now if I were Karoline, I would continue repeating myself, saying that F is F because it’s simply F. But having High School English in my back pocket (unfair as it may seem that I have more experience than Karoline) I know that this is no argument. And so I’ll go beyond the repetition of a single letter.

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary states journalism is “the work of collecting, writing and reporting news items in the press.” So just for fun, let’s say the Dinos evaluations were just that–a form of journalism. Now let’s see how Karoline did in her role as journalist for Dinos swimming.

As for collecting news, Karoline was on deck, if I can count correctly, twice this season; once some time in the fall when she did an article on two of our swimmers, Chad Murray and Emma Spooner, and a second time when we hosted Canada West Championships in January. Therefore, Karoline is obviously a reliable source for information. She spent plenty of time collecting it.

I found it odd that Karoline characterized our swim season with a “steady paced B.” She must have misplaced our stats among her many pages of notes, otherwise she would have been aware that Dinos Swimming was ranked first in the CIS from September ’02 until February ’03 when we were bumped down to second at Nationals.

And what else is a newspaper article if it doesn’t report events? This article did report one event: “B is an underestimation of the team’s Canada West Championship win in Calgary this January.” How exciting, they won Canada West, exclaims the excited reader searching anxiously for more details. Who performed well? Who meddled? How did they pull it off? After all, it was their first win at Canada West since 1997… and yet no names, not one person singled out as the star. So our lightly disheartened reader concludes that the must have done it as a team. Team unity must have ignited the win. Karoline however immediately extinguishes this idea by stating, falsely, “that certain members deserve more [than others].” Obviously she was ignorant to the fact that in swimming every race counts for points, be it first or 16th–it all adds up to the win.

Karoline is evidently aware that any position taken must be able to counter any arguments brought forth by an opposing opinion and she gracefully demonstrates this skill by a very charming argument: “if you feel you deserve more, well, tough shit.” I, for one, was quite moved by this unarguable statement.

It’s funny how, when reinforcing her position, Karoline forgot to mention that Dinos swimming brought home 12 All-Canadian awards, three new CIS records and three swimmers who qualified for the World University Games in August.

Now I could go on forever pointing out how Karoline overlooked the injuries and hospitalizations suffered by our team prior to Nationals, which sent us to the championship with less than a full team. Or I could ramble on about the fact the UBC Thunderbirds happen to be stacked with numerous members of our Canadian International and Olympic Team and that one of those members set a new world record at Nationals this year. But I will bite my tongue and put down my pen, for who am I, lowly athlete, to judge the artistry of a journalist?

And yet, I find myself shocked and appalled that Karoline’s article even made it past the editor. I can’t believe that the Gauntlet would allow such poor journalism to grace its pages. But alas, I don’t believe it even qualifies as journalism. The Oxford University Press would be disgusted. Hint for you next time, Karoline: make the trek to visit us at the pool. We won’t hide the truth from you. Then, you might just be able to produce a decent article.

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