Dear Argus, what were we talking about again?

I’ve had a few days to party reflect on the Argus‘ response to Monday’s post and finally know what I want to say about it. Below is the full text of the Editor’s Notebook addressing my post, written by Ezra Silk ’10 and Suzanna Hirsch ’10 (Executive Editors), as printed  in last Tuesday’s issue. My comments will follow, after the jump.

Yesterday, a senior blogger for Wesleying, writing under the pseudonym “Whatshername,” posted a lengthy critique of The Argus. As former editors of the newspaper, we would like to address her post.

“Whatshername”’s basic point is that, in two ways, The Argus is unique compared to a selection of other student newspapers. First, it compensates its editors-in-chief. Secondly, The Argus is a bi-weekly newspaper, unlike the weekly papers she cites. Overall, she questions the necessity of printing twice a week, asks why members of the staff are compensated, and wonders whether this is a proper use of student funds.

As “Whatshername” wrote, this year, the Argus initially received $40,000 from the SBC. We used this money primarily for printing and office supplies. Ultimately, we only needed $25,000 to cover these basic costs. We had agreed to return $15,000 to the SBC, but ultimately they only requested $10,000, which we gave to them in March. We saved the majority of the remaining $5,000, which will help us become more financially independent next year. We receive roughly $10,000 to $12,000 per year in advertising revenue, and this year, we used this money to compensate certain members of our staff, who we believe have earned it through their sustained time commitment to the newspaper. In general, we have always compensated key members of our staff, especially those who routinely work past midnight. We give a $250 stipend to the editors-in-chief, who regularly stay at the office from 4:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. twice a week.

In other words, The Argus is primarily paying students for their work with its own money, not with the student body’s. The SBC, then, is essentially paying for our printing costs. We should also mention that we have undertaken lengthy negotiations to ensure that our budget is efficient, and, in the last few years, we have taken substantial budget cuts.

With this said, we are wondering what the real impetus is behind “Whatshername”’s post. Theoretically, it is a critique of the way The Argus uses student funds. The top of the post is, after all, adorned by a giant, rainbow-colored dollar sign. But why critique our funding now? After reading through her post a few times, it seems clear to us that it is a generalized assault on The Argus charading as a “dialogue”-promoting investigative report on the paper’s finances.

“Whatshername,” in one of her many asides, discusses the “haterade” that may be leveled against her in response to her post, entitled “Let’s Talk About the Argus.” “In researching and writing this post I have been well aware of the haterade (love that word) that could be thrown my way,” she writes. “Ultimately, I have decided that it doesn’t matter how much crap I get for this post.”

We have one question: Is it really so brave and controversial to criticize The Argus? We are not delusional. We know that people love to make fun of us.

Beyond this, the timing of this post is especially savvy. The Argus embarrassed itself with the recent and inexcusable falsehoods that were published about positive HIV tests. Surely, many students are questioning the competence of The Argus editorial staff at the moment. We don’t blame them. It was an awful mistake.

Despite these errors (and we admit that there have been others in the past), we feel the need to defend The Argus as an institution. The Argus was founded in 1868, and is the oldest bi-weekly college newspaper in the country. We have no plans to change that. Publishing twice a week allows us to print the news while it is still news. Our peer institutions may do it differently, but that is no reason to say their way is better.

As we’ve discussed, and as “Whatshername” has pointed out: “your student newspaper is not free.” There is no denying this. We appreciate the funds that the SBC generously allocates us every year. Let us give some examples of how we try to earn them.

When someone is assaulted on campus, we call Public Safety and attempt to interview the victim(s). When the endowment loses hundreds of millions of dollars, as it did recently, we harangue the folks at North College for as much information as they will give us. Every week, an Argus reporter attends the WSA meeting and takes notes. Every other week, we meet with President Roth around his conference table in South College, and question him on a wide range of campus issues. When Wesleyan sues its own Chief Investment Officer behind closed doors, we go down to Middletown Superior Court and pay the clerk for the legal complaint.

These are some of the ways The Argus reports on campus life. We won’t bore you with the rest. Our main point is to question why “Whatshername” is suddenly trying to initiate a campus debate about The Argus’ finances. There are certainly questions about recent content-related errors in the newspaper that are worth discussing. But they appear in this piece as little more than a justification for an unjustified attack on the way The Argus is run.

We believe Wesleying can and should criticize The Argus when criticism is warranted. In this case, it was not.

Upon seeing last Tuesday’s issue, I was glad to know that the Argus was able to put together a response with so little time, but also braced myself for how they may tear apart my argument. As I read through it, however, I found that the focus had inexplicably shifted from the issues I raised in my post to subtle conspiracy-theorizing about the timing and intention behind it. By the time I reached the end of their piece, I couldn’t even figure out where my post’s argument figured into what they said. It seemed to me that this was really a response to my post having been written and published in the first place.

This put me in a strange position. I could either not respond and leave open the possibility that they were correct in suggesting that I had some nasty ulterior motives in writing about the Argus, or I could respond and risk further derailing the conversation to focus on me and not on the issues. Eventually, I decided that I had to respond to the vague allegations to get myself out of the way so we could all get back to the discussion that the Argus has seemed so anxious to avoid.

I’ll go through each of their points in the order that they show up in their piece:

1) They start off with some new information about how much money they make from revenue and how that figures into their spending. This info is definitely appreciated because it helps us put together a more accurate picture of the Argus‘ finances. In my last post, I mentioned that it should make me and other people a little more comfortable with staff getting paid if it is made clear that the SBC only pays for printing costs, so that technically students are not paying for wages. It is a helpful clarification to hear that this is how the Argus approaches their budgeting. However, it is worth noting that, if staff weren’t paid, the money from revenue could be used to pay for printing costs instead, which would decrease the SBC’s contribution. Looking at it that way, paying staff does cost the students money, even if indirectly. How you feel about this depends entirely on whether you think staff wages are a necessary cost.

2) They are correct in pointing out that the Argus has taken budget cuts in past years. However, my point is that even bigger budget cuts would come from printing only once a week. I think that’s worth considering.

3) Right after the money talk, they start questioning the timing of my post. As I stated in the comments to my last post, the reason it came out this past week was because I was working on my thesis and could not devote the kind of time to research and writing that this post required. I had been thinking about these issues for a long time but simply couldn’t get to it. Knowing that it was going to come out at the end of the semester, at a time when people have a lot of other things to think about, I was worried that nobody would care at all about the issues I raised. Then the STI reporting error happened, and I knew that many people would find my criticism of the Argus’s business model extremely timely. Some people even started questioning the Argus‘ finances! As much as I would have liked for my post to come out then, as people were asking the very questions I was hoping to answer, it still wasn’t ready.

Since it seems that the timing of the post is why they see it as a “generalized assault” (or at least that’s what the writing implies), hopefully my explanation helps to change that impression. Describing my post as a “generalized assault,” and later as an “attack,” in addition to being unnecessarily hyperbolic, seems to point to their main problem with my post, which is the belief that criticism=attack. I wonder when exactly the Argus editors would have liked for my post to be published, what language they would rather I had used, or what they would have considered a more acceptable topic of discussion, for any of my criticism to be seen as constructive and not malicious.

4) They ask if it is “really so brave and controversial to criticize the Argus.” Well, anybody who read the later comments to my post, or has taken a trip to the ACB in the past week, knows that I’ve been the subject of petty personal attacks as a result of the publishing of this post. And guess what? At least as I can tell from the Wesleying comments, these attacks are coming primarily from people who work for the Argus or are in close relationships with people who do. So, yes, it is brave to put yourself in such a position largely because certain (definitely not all!) Argus staff members and their friends have gone the route of high school histrionics and name-calling in response to my criticism. (Not to mention the few people for whom this is standard practice and have no affiliation to the newspaper.) It’s not easy to potentially go up against the entire staff of a newspaper. This isn’t meant to be a “woe is me” moment because I knew that this would happen and I also don’t take the nasty comments seriously, but I think it’s important to recognize that criticizing any institution is difficult. It’s not something I took lightly.

5) The first, and only, time my suggestion to print once a week is mentioned, it’s barely given any attention. Yes, the Argus is the oldest bi-weekly college newspaper in the country. That’s something to be proud of (I guess), but it’s a rather weak argument. Also, in regards to printing “news while it is still news”– that’s what the internet is for! The Argus has a fancy new website that students will visit if it’s established as supplementary to the print edition. Newspapers around the country are increasing their online presence and cutting back on print-related costs for many of the same reasons I think the Argus should.

6) To suggest that the Argus isn’t important to this campus or that they don’t do good work (most of the time) would be stupid. I’m glad that Suzanna and Ezra enumerated many of the ways that the Argus delivers as our main source of campus news. This is why we need to care about our newspaper.

7) Now, for their closing line: “We believe Wesleying can and should criticize The Argus when criticism is warranted. In this case, it was not.” First, Wesleying was not criticizing the Argus. I was. Second, I simply cannot agree that the target of criticism can independently determine whether criticism against it is warranted. This is an especially audacious statement considering how many commenters agreed that these issues are worth further exploring. You can’t dismiss everything I said because you don’t like that I said it.

Though I’m sure this will incite more ridiculousness in the comments, I hope to have at least partly succeeded in refocusing the discussion. I think the Argus needs to worry less about me and start listening to the readers they are here to serve.

[Edit, 9:18 PM]

69 thoughts on “Dear Argus, what were we talking about again?

  1. Alex

    hey guys,
    i am not affiliated with the argus or wesleying, and i just wanted to say that this is a great debate to be having and i’m glad whatshername has written these posts, regardless of whether we should be having one issue a week or two. the only irritating part is people (who invariably take the twice-weekly stance) who approach this issue as either a personal vendetta, or a childish name-calling-fest, or a condescending let’s-just-end-this tone. stop acting like assholes and respond to the actual arguments posted here, which were actually quite coherent and sensible.

  2. Braille

    @18 “I love you Wesleying, but please stop letting whatshername write these posts. This one was really childish.”

    The editorial entity to whom you are addressing this request does not exist. Please instead address your concerns to the blogger.

    In other news, puppies and shit.

  3. anon

    @ 23, others:

    I bet it’s really a lot of work putting Spring Fling together. And Spring Fling is really expensive. And, sometimes Social Committee books bands that some people don’t like. That probably means we should cut the Social Committee’s funding in half so those poor students won’t have to work so hard. Maybe they can just post a bunch of YouTube videos of bands playing concerts. That would obviously be more in keeping with the obvious changes in the industry, and would save money.

  4. anon

    @ 23, others:

    I bet it’s really a lot of work putting Spring Fling together. And Spring Fling is really expensive. And, sometimes Social Committee books bands that some people don’t like. That probably means we should cut the Social Committee’s funding in half so those poor students won’t have to work so hard. Maybe they can just post a bunch of YouTube videos of bands playing concerts. That would obviously be more in keeping with the obvious changes in the industry, and would save money.

  5. anon

    Responses to some common points I’ve seen put forth by a lot of Argus staffers:

    Re: “Let’s look at why she really wrote this.”

    There’s no need for the inferiority complex. Just respond to the facts. If you want to take offense at her tone, fine. But don’t do it in print.

    Re: “this is infuriating because…”

    You have no reason to be mad. People want to talk about your funding, like they do with all other costly campus institutions. You can ignore them, or you can join the discussion. But you can’t get mad. That doesn’t make sense.

    Re: “If we come out once a week we won’t be breaking the news”

    Please. First of all, by coming out twice a week you are still three or four days behind some stories. That’s not much more “breaking” than a seven day lag would be. Second, everyone sees stories occasionally wait a few issues to be printed. Now if speed is really your goal, just use the Internet. You could even post your breaking news on Wesleying if you really wanted to stick it to the man: http://wesleying.org/author/argus/

    Re: “it’s hard to find stuff to cut”

    You print tons of space filler like “please recycle this Argus!” and some even stupider ones. If you aren’t going to start cutting those, then maybe you should cut your business manager, because the Argus is hemorrhaging empty ad space. Also, ditch the ampersand.

    Re: “We work really hard (casual offhand reference to weekly all-nighters or furious 5am editing) and…”

    All I’m hearing is more evidence that a staff of overworked college students is struggling to cope with the demands of putting out a bi-weekly paper.

    Re: “Other stuff gets more money than the Argus, like cocktails”

    That’s completely irrelevant.

  6. anon

    Responses to some common points I’ve seen put forth by a lot of Argus staffers:

    Re: “Let’s look at why she really wrote this.”

    There’s no need for the inferiority complex. Just respond to the facts. If you want to take offense at her tone, fine. But don’t do it in print.

    Re: “this is infuriating because…”

    You have no reason to be mad. People want to talk about your funding, like they do with all other costly campus institutions. You can ignore them, or you can join the discussion. But you can’t get mad. That doesn’t make sense.

    Re: “If we come out once a week we won’t be breaking the news”

    Please. First of all, by coming out twice a week you are still three or four days behind some stories. That’s not much more “breaking” than a seven day lag would be. Second, everyone sees stories occasionally wait a few issues to be printed. Now if speed is really your goal, just use the Internet. You could even post your breaking news on Wesleying if you really wanted to stick it to the man: http://wesleying.org/author/argus/

    Re: “it’s hard to find stuff to cut”

    You print tons of space filler like “please recycle this Argus!” and some even stupider ones. If you aren’t going to start cutting those, then maybe you should cut your business manager, because the Argus is hemorrhaging empty ad space. Also, ditch the ampersand.

    Re: “We work really hard (casual offhand reference to weekly all-nighters or furious 5am editing) and…”

    All I’m hearing is more evidence that a staff of overworked college students is struggling to cope with the demands of putting out a bi-weekly paper.

    Re: “Other stuff gets more money than the Argus, like cocktails”

    That’s completely irrelevant.

  7. anon

    The aggressive tone of this post convinced me that whatshername is less interested in presenting the issues than in winning a pissing contest. You presented your argument and evidence in the first post and the Argus responded with the facts–both pieces generated discussion among the student body.

    So what exactly did this second post serve to accomplish? You write “Eventually, I decided that I had to respond to the vague allegations to get myself out of the way so we could all get back to the discussion that the Argus has seemed so anxious to avoid.”

    But the discussion was already well underway as evidenced by large number of student comments. This post added nothing to the discourse. Instead it was childish and inflammatory. I know this post is supposed to represent the view of whatshername only, but it’s unfortunate that Wesleying would allow a post that reads like an attack on another student group to be published.

  8. anon

    The aggressive tone of this post convinced me that whatshername is less interested in presenting the issues than in winning a pissing contest. You presented your argument and evidence in the first post and the Argus responded with the facts–both pieces generated discussion among the student body.

    So what exactly did this second post serve to accomplish? You write “Eventually, I decided that I had to respond to the vague allegations to get myself out of the way so we could all get back to the discussion that the Argus has seemed so anxious to avoid.”

    But the discussion was already well underway as evidenced by large number of student comments. This post added nothing to the discourse. Instead it was childish and inflammatory. I know this post is supposed to represent the view of whatshername only, but it’s unfortunate that Wesleying would allow a post that reads like an attack on another student group to be published.

  9. Gabe Lezra

    Dear Anonymous Commenter:

    I’m thrilled to hear all of these wonderful ideas about how to cut down the section that I ran for a year. I’m glad you hated my Death Match segment, I’m sure Nick and Jess will take note of that.

    I actually don’t think I need to defend reviewing things–I was going to launch into a long defense of why reviews are interesting, constructive ways to appreciate and help the theater and visual art community (some of my own idiotic moments aside). But you know what? You don’t care. If you don’t buy the notion of the Arts section that I laid out earlier, then I’m not going to convince you.

    You want Amper to be a zine? Fine, then come into the first meeting and pitch it to the EIC’s and the Amper editors. Maybe you’ll convince the people that spent so much time working on it that they should split off from our organization.

    Also, we’re looking to hire someone to tell us what’s “bullshit” and what’s not–it’ll probably be a paid position, so I hope you apply. Also, the position stipulates helping the layout staff fit all the articles in at 5 am without any filler–and you seem to be well versed in that. We’ll probably need a name on the app though…

  10. Gabe Lezra

    Dear Anonymous Commenter:

    I’m thrilled to hear all of these wonderful ideas about how to cut down the section that I ran for a year. I’m glad you hated my Death Match segment, I’m sure Nick and Jess will take note of that.

    I actually don’t think I need to defend reviewing things–I was going to launch into a long defense of why reviews are interesting, constructive ways to appreciate and help the theater and visual art community (some of my own idiotic moments aside). But you know what? You don’t care. If you don’t buy the notion of the Arts section that I laid out earlier, then I’m not going to convince you.

    You want Amper to be a zine? Fine, then come into the first meeting and pitch it to the EIC’s and the Amper editors. Maybe you’ll convince the people that spent so much time working on it that they should split off from our organization.

    Also, we’re looking to hire someone to tell us what’s “bullshit” and what’s not–it’ll probably be a paid position, so I hope you apply. Also, the position stipulates helping the layout staff fit all the articles in at 5 am without any filler–and you seem to be well versed in that. We’ll probably need a name on the app though…

  11. anon

    I love you Wesleying, but please stop letting whatshername write these posts. This one was really childish. You raised some good questions in your first post, albeit with a somewhat aggressive, gotcha attitude. Isn’t that enough? The Argus editors basically gave you all the info you wanted. You want them to be a once a week paper. Just say that at the top and make the whole article an editorial saying such. Don’t couch it in vague “questions” and say its “starting a dialogue.”

    This post was very aggressive and did not help your case. Attacking the commenters on your previous post was not fair. Your first post got me thinking about the issue, and then the Argus’s response seemed reasonable to me. This is just childish.

  12. anon

    I love you Wesleying, but please stop letting whatshername write these posts. This one was really childish. You raised some good questions in your first post, albeit with a somewhat aggressive, gotcha attitude. Isn’t that enough? The Argus editors basically gave you all the info you wanted. You want them to be a once a week paper. Just say that at the top and make the whole article an editorial saying such. Don’t couch it in vague “questions” and say its “starting a dialogue.”

    This post was very aggressive and did not help your case. Attacking the commenters on your previous post was not fair. Your first post got me thinking about the issue, and then the Argus’s response seemed reasonable to me. This is just childish.

  13. another arguser

    Okay my colleague above explained our position about as eloquently as someone could. i just want to explain why this is so infuriating to those of us who have devoted substantial chunks of our lives to the argus.

    mistakes happen because we work late at night and have to meet deadlines and we have a limited staff for copy/fact-checking. obviously we won’t stop working like that, because we try to report the news quickly. simply put, people who don’t work at the argus have no authority to explain how we could improve our quality. we don’t tell wesleying how it could put up event postings more quickly. we also don’t tell professors how to teach or atom bomb builders how to build atom bombs. it’s really aggravating to hear people presume to tell us how to do our job.

    further, we have to put in all the filler people bitch about because our printer can only pages by multiples of four. if we have too much content for a 12 pager but not enough for 16, guess what? filler time. and cutting 2-3 pages worth of content is not nearly as easy as it seems, especially when that content accounts for a quarter page in each section.

    and this cost thing is just ridiculous. everyone is getting the funding they deserve. the little publication-lets get by with department funding, which is totally inaccessible to a general interest publication like ours. We get a little over a quarter of what the sbc spends on senior cocks, which i would argue do a whole lot less to enrich the community. oh wait, I forgot. nothing is more important than senior cocks, not even human lives.

    so in conclusion, eat a bowl of dicks.

  14. another arguser

    Okay my colleague above explained our position about as eloquently as someone could. i just want to explain why this is so infuriating to those of us who have devoted substantial chunks of our lives to the argus.

    mistakes happen because we work late at night and have to meet deadlines and we have a limited staff for copy/fact-checking. obviously we won’t stop working like that, because we try to report the news quickly. simply put, people who don’t work at the argus have no authority to explain how we could improve our quality. we don’t tell wesleying how it could put up event postings more quickly. we also don’t tell professors how to teach or atom bomb builders how to build atom bombs. it’s really aggravating to hear people presume to tell us how to do our job.

    further, we have to put in all the filler people bitch about because our printer can only pages by multiples of four. if we have too much content for a 12 pager but not enough for 16, guess what? filler time. and cutting 2-3 pages worth of content is not nearly as easy as it seems, especially when that content accounts for a quarter page in each section.

    and this cost thing is just ridiculous. everyone is getting the funding they deserve. the little publication-lets get by with department funding, which is totally inaccessible to a general interest publication like ours. We get a little over a quarter of what the sbc spends on senior cocks, which i would argue do a whole lot less to enrich the community. oh wait, I forgot. nothing is more important than senior cocks, not even human lives.

    so in conclusion, eat a bowl of dicks.

  15. bowl of dicks

    Congratulations Ashely Castro! You win! You had to have the last word on this “debate” like a fucking teenager!

  16. bowl of dicks

    Congratulations Ashely Castro! You win! You had to have the last word on this “debate” like a fucking teenager!

  17. @ Gabe 11:20

    If most other college papers are moving to once a week, it seems like we wouldn’t collapse without that second issue.

    It seems like it should be a pretty simple move to cut those pages down though – remove the part of the Arts section where they review student performances that have already happened (because, who cares, it’s already happened so we don’t care how good the Argus thinks it was) and the Ampersand used to be independent anyway so just have it take the comics page with it and return to an independent format (maybe online! or a small zine) where it can be more interesting and actually provocative without the administration shitting all over it (as has happened). Plus cutting all the bullshit pieces (like Argus Death Match or the HUGE chunks of space saying recycle this argus, added just to fill space) and you’ve got your necessary pages right there.

    The Argus is like every other bloated, inefficient and poorly organized bureaucracy – it’s got problems, but it’s too busy trying to make sure it doesn’t lose any bit of what it has to make itself better.

  18. @ Gabe 11:20

    If most other college papers are moving to once a week, it seems like we wouldn’t collapse without that second issue.

    It seems like it should be a pretty simple move to cut those pages down though – remove the part of the Arts section where they review student performances that have already happened (because, who cares, it’s already happened so we don’t care how good the Argus thinks it was) and the Ampersand used to be independent anyway so just have it take the comics page with it and return to an independent format (maybe online! or a small zine) where it can be more interesting and actually provocative without the administration shitting all over it (as has happened). Plus cutting all the bullshit pieces (like Argus Death Match or the HUGE chunks of space saying recycle this argus, added just to fill space) and you’ve got your necessary pages right there.

    The Argus is like every other bloated, inefficient and poorly organized bureaucracy – it’s got problems, but it’s too busy trying to make sure it doesn’t lose any bit of what it has to make itself better.

  19. arguser

    okay look,

    the fact is that this debate is never going to come to a close. some students want the argus to come out twice a week, some want it to come out once a week. there are benefits to both:

    a once-a-week paper that has old news and is more features-y but potentially costs less, assuming we don’t have as much content.

    a twice-a-week paper that costs more (potentially) but gets news out more efficiently.

    i can guarantee that the amount of errors will not be reduced by coming out weekly. the only way to solve that problem is to get more copy editors who are willing to come in at 2 a.m. and catch those mistakes–and which we are probably going to have to make a paid position if we want anybody to do it.

    also, the argus is not sucking funds from other student groups. the sbc has enough funds to allot money to all “meritorious requests” and usually gives groups the full amount of money they ask for.

    at this point, at a time when print media is in such a crazy transitional period, it just isn’t worth it to us to change our structure around dramatically because a few people would prefer that we come out once a week. in all likelihood, the argus will eventually not come out in print form and will be entirely online (although i wish this weren’t true), but in the meantime, until we have a website that is super-easy to update and to navigate (which is incredibly tough to make happen, and to find people interested in making happen), it makes sense to come out twice a week so that people know when new stories are out.

    we don’t mind the criticism, but the fact that you wrote it as this giant expose, as though we had participated in some massive scandal, was frustrating. we’re just a student group trying our best.

    please, let’s end this debate. if students want to talk to us further, they are welcome to e-mail us at: argus@wesleyan.edu.

  20. arguser

    okay look,

    the fact is that this debate is never going to come to a close. some students want the argus to come out twice a week, some want it to come out once a week. there are benefits to both:

    a once-a-week paper that has old news and is more features-y but potentially costs less, assuming we don’t have as much content.

    a twice-a-week paper that costs more (potentially) but gets news out more efficiently.

    i can guarantee that the amount of errors will not be reduced by coming out weekly. the only way to solve that problem is to get more copy editors who are willing to come in at 2 a.m. and catch those mistakes–and which we are probably going to have to make a paid position if we want anybody to do it.

    also, the argus is not sucking funds from other student groups. the sbc has enough funds to allot money to all “meritorious requests” and usually gives groups the full amount of money they ask for.

    at this point, at a time when print media is in such a crazy transitional period, it just isn’t worth it to us to change our structure around dramatically because a few people would prefer that we come out once a week. in all likelihood, the argus will eventually not come out in print form and will be entirely online (although i wish this weren’t true), but in the meantime, until we have a website that is super-easy to update and to navigate (which is incredibly tough to make happen, and to find people interested in making happen), it makes sense to come out twice a week so that people know when new stories are out.

    we don’t mind the criticism, but the fact that you wrote it as this giant expose, as though we had participated in some massive scandal, was frustrating. we’re just a student group trying our best.

    please, let’s end this debate. if students want to talk to us further, they are welcome to e-mail us at: argus@wesleyan.edu.

  21. Gabe Lezra

    Sure!

    So, and I should say this now, I don’t represent the views of the Argus, or of individual people in the Argus or sections of the Argus, and because I never did layout or EIC, my views/opinions should be taken with MASSIVE grains of salt. But I’m going to post them here anyways, because I’m procrastinating.

    1) The reason the EIC’s/Layout people stay up so late is because of news stories and deadlines. A lot of times we break news the night the paper comes out, so the writers have a very short period to turn around their stories; then we have to fact-check, then edit, then layout. The layout part starts so late because we don’t know which stories will make it in because we try to get every angle of the story, fact-check, and edit with the individual writers. Stories don’t come in until late in a lot of cases because we have to wait to get comments from the administration (who are procrastinators, just like us), or the writers want another side to their story that could only get back to them the day their story was due. Writing journalism is a long, aggravating process.
    We couldn’t start layout a night earlier because we genuinely don’t know which stories will come in, how long they’ll be, or whether we’ll have to break something the next night.

    2) 1.5 times the length still cuts either Amper or Arts, unfortunately :-(; the other option would be to drastically cut back the sections, but the whole point of a newspaper is to break news…

    3) I don’t know enough about our ad revenue to talk about this in detail that you want, unfortunately, but I am pretty sure that a 50% cut in the amount of paper we print will include ads. (1.5 per week as opposed to 2). Also, in an LOL moment, I’m pretty sure Typhoon only advertises on Tuesdays :-). But the point is, some advertisers want people to know of an event or special or what have you, happening at a specific time (say, Wednesday night), and take advantage of the two times we publish to convey that.

    4) Free food? MY GOD WHO TOLD YOU THIS WE’RE DONE FOR RUN. Nah, but seriously, twice a week we exchange a small ad for a meal from a local restaurant for the EICs and Editors (and writers who’re editing). We don’t compensate the editors in any other way, and damnit if I don’t enjoy my It’s Only Natural.

  22. Gabe Lezra

    Sure!

    So, and I should say this now, I don’t represent the views of the Argus, or of individual people in the Argus or sections of the Argus, and because I never did layout or EIC, my views/opinions should be taken with MASSIVE grains of salt. But I’m going to post them here anyways, because I’m procrastinating.

    1) The reason the EIC’s/Layout people stay up so late is because of news stories and deadlines. A lot of times we break news the night the paper comes out, so the writers have a very short period to turn around their stories; then we have to fact-check, then edit, then layout. The layout part starts so late because we don’t know which stories will make it in because we try to get every angle of the story, fact-check, and edit with the individual writers. Stories don’t come in until late in a lot of cases because we have to wait to get comments from the administration (who are procrastinators, just like us), or the writers want another side to their story that could only get back to them the day their story was due. Writing journalism is a long, aggravating process.
    We couldn’t start layout a night earlier because we genuinely don’t know which stories will come in, how long they’ll be, or whether we’ll have to break something the next night.

    2) 1.5 times the length still cuts either Amper or Arts, unfortunately :-(; the other option would be to drastically cut back the sections, but the whole point of a newspaper is to break news…

    3) I don’t know enough about our ad revenue to talk about this in detail that you want, unfortunately, but I am pretty sure that a 50% cut in the amount of paper we print will include ads. (1.5 per week as opposed to 2). Also, in an LOL moment, I’m pretty sure Typhoon only advertises on Tuesdays :-). But the point is, some advertisers want people to know of an event or special or what have you, happening at a specific time (say, Wednesday night), and take advantage of the two times we publish to convey that.

    4) Free food? MY GOD WHO TOLD YOU THIS WE’RE DONE FOR RUN. Nah, but seriously, twice a week we exchange a small ad for a meal from a local restaurant for the EICs and Editors (and writers who’re editing). We don’t compensate the editors in any other way, and damnit if I don’t enjoy my It’s Only Natural.

  23. Mati

    Gabe, I have a few questions. If the argus switches to once-a-week, why does it have to be either the length is is now, or double the length? Whatshername’s idea, as I see it, is that you could have soemthing like 1.5 times the length half as often, with a bit more time spent on each story?

    Additionally, I’m confused about the layout thing (the workers having to stay up super late the night before). since it’s only coming out once per week, is there any reason that the layout could be done over two nights, or what have you?

    Finally, you mention that some advertisers only appear on tuesday and some only appear on friday, and say that there would be less advertising $$ if there was only 1 paper per week. But doesn’t it stand to reason that some if not all advertisers would move their ads to the other day if the paper doesn’t come out on the right day? I can’t imagine Typhoon steadfastly refuses to have their ads in the argus on tuesdays.
    ps could you comment on the free food from advertisers that got mentioned in the comments? I never heard anything more than rumors, and would love to know what the real deal is.

  24. Mati

    Gabe, I have a few questions. If the argus switches to once-a-week, why does it have to be either the length is is now, or double the length? Whatshername’s idea, as I see it, is that you could have soemthing like 1.5 times the length half as often, with a bit more time spent on each story?

    Additionally, I’m confused about the layout thing (the workers having to stay up super late the night before). since it’s only coming out once per week, is there any reason that the layout could be done over two nights, or what have you?

    Finally, you mention that some advertisers only appear on tuesday and some only appear on friday, and say that there would be less advertising $$ if there was only 1 paper per week. But doesn’t it stand to reason that some if not all advertisers would move their ads to the other day if the paper doesn’t come out on the right day? I can’t imagine Typhoon steadfastly refuses to have their ads in the argus on tuesdays.
    ps could you comment on the free food from advertisers that got mentioned in the comments? I never heard anything more than rumors, and would love to know what the real deal is.

  25. ugh.

    it’s funny how all these people who have nothing to do with a newspaper are full of brilliant ideas about how mistakes could be avoided. there are mistakes in the argus because it’s edited a few hours before it’s printed (which is inevitable for a NEWSpaper) and the copy staff has been dwindling because they DON”T GET PAID

  26. ugh.

    it’s funny how all these people who have nothing to do with a newspaper are full of brilliant ideas about how mistakes could be avoided. there are mistakes in the argus because it’s edited a few hours before it’s printed (which is inevitable for a NEWSpaper) and the copy staff has been dwindling because they DON”T GET PAID

  27. Gabe Lezra

    To print once a week would probably mean cutting back on various sections, some of them entirely–I used to run the Arts section (madd respek to our new Arts Editors Nick and Jessica), and we publish weekly.

    But we have room to publish Arts in the paper mainly because we don’t have to put as much stuff from News or Features in the Friday issue; the same could be said with the Ampersand and the Tuesday issue. Now, to try to put all the sections into one paper that would be more or less the same size (12-16 or so pages) as each edition this year (which is, I think, the idea here) would almost certainly result in cutting one of our sections (like Arts or Amper–:-(), scaling back Features and News, and cutting ads (couldn’t this be important, financially?). So maybe this could work, but is this what we want from our newspaper? (DIALOGUE BWAHAHAHA :-) ).

    The other option, I think, would be to make the paper twice as long, but that wouldn’t cut down printing costs, and it would certainly lose us ad revenue because some days we have ads from some specific places, and others not–i.e. some places run ads on Friday, some Tuesday. It would also make the EIC job almost impossible–it already takes the layout staff until around 4 am as is, can you imagine what another 12 pages would do to them? And if we’re talking about cutting salaries, who on earth would want to do THAT job for free?

    While I love the Internet and all the possibilities we have here, I think it’s worth thinking hard about whether we value having a printed campus paper–not just for news and features, but for fun things like Arts and Amper. I like to delude myself into thinking that these two sections have a positive impact on Wesleyan, and can at least be a cool space for photographers, aspiring artists, comedians, and critics (Daniel O’Sullivan’s review of “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus” was given to Terry Gilliam, who loved it–no joke) to see their work in print. The Blargus is awesome and all (MAD PLUG–Check out “The Visuals,” our new visual arts blog), but the Arts section offers a different way of looking at campus media–visual, theatrical, etc–that (at least I think) is a fun, unique way for artists, critics, etc., to get their start. It would be sad to lose it and the Ampersand, which I think would probably happen if we moved to a weekly paper.
    Just a thought.

    Also, if you’re interested in visual media–anything from graphic design to photography to film to animation–send us an email at wesleyanblargus(at)gmail(dot)com.

  28. Gabe Lezra

    To print once a week would probably mean cutting back on various sections, some of them entirely–I used to run the Arts section (madd respek to our new Arts Editors Nick and Jessica), and we publish weekly.

    But we have room to publish Arts in the paper mainly because we don’t have to put as much stuff from News or Features in the Friday issue; the same could be said with the Ampersand and the Tuesday issue. Now, to try to put all the sections into one paper that would be more or less the same size (12-16 or so pages) as each edition this year (which is, I think, the idea here) would almost certainly result in cutting one of our sections (like Arts or Amper–:-(), scaling back Features and News, and cutting ads (couldn’t this be important, financially?). So maybe this could work, but is this what we want from our newspaper? (DIALOGUE BWAHAHAHA :-) ).

    The other option, I think, would be to make the paper twice as long, but that wouldn’t cut down printing costs, and it would certainly lose us ad revenue because some days we have ads from some specific places, and others not–i.e. some places run ads on Friday, some Tuesday. It would also make the EIC job almost impossible–it already takes the layout staff until around 4 am as is, can you imagine what another 12 pages would do to them? And if we’re talking about cutting salaries, who on earth would want to do THAT job for free?

    While I love the Internet and all the possibilities we have here, I think it’s worth thinking hard about whether we value having a printed campus paper–not just for news and features, but for fun things like Arts and Amper. I like to delude myself into thinking that these two sections have a positive impact on Wesleyan, and can at least be a cool space for photographers, aspiring artists, comedians, and critics (Daniel O’Sullivan’s review of “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus” was given to Terry Gilliam, who loved it–no joke) to see their work in print. The Blargus is awesome and all (MAD PLUG–Check out “The Visuals,” our new visual arts blog), but the Arts section offers a different way of looking at campus media–visual, theatrical, etc–that (at least I think) is a fun, unique way for artists, critics, etc., to get their start. It would be sad to lose it and the Ampersand, which I think would probably happen if we moved to a weekly paper.
    Just a thought.

    Also, if you’re interested in visual media–anything from graphic design to photography to film to animation–send us an email at wesleyanblargus(at)gmail(dot)com.

  29. anon

    1. I’m glad the Argus comes out twice a week, and I don’t care if its peeps get paid because they work hard and they’re a student activity just like everything else.
    2. They should work to eliminate the mistakes they made, but I honestly don’t care that much and don’t think making the Argus come out once a week will eliminate mistakes…
    3. I’m glad Wesleying exists too.
    4. This debate should stop.
    5. This debate should stop.
    6. This debate should stop.

  30. anon

    1. I’m glad the Argus comes out twice a week, and I don’t care if its peeps get paid because they work hard and they’re a student activity just like everything else.
    2. They should work to eliminate the mistakes they made, but I honestly don’t care that much and don’t think making the Argus come out once a week will eliminate mistakes…
    3. I’m glad Wesleying exists too.
    4. This debate should stop.
    5. This debate should stop.
    6. This debate should stop.

  31. blah

    no anon, if the paper were to come out once a week, it would mean less crap would be put into the paper. as of now the paper is usually full of complete bullshit stories just to take up space. no one wants that–we want news! and on a campus as small as wesleyan, i think that once a week is sufficient in covering whatever is “news”.

  32. blah

    no anon, if the paper were to come out once a week, it would mean less crap would be put into the paper. as of now the paper is usually full of complete bullshit stories just to take up space. no one wants that–we want news! and on a campus as small as wesleyan, i think that once a week is sufficient in covering whatever is “news”.

  33. anon

    Your rationale is flawed, anonimouse; the occasional mistakes the Argus makes would not be eliminated by publishing once weekly. How would the content be improved? It would be worse, considering the Argus would have to squash twice as much news into one paper, or print double the amount of pages. Either way, you’re wrong.

  34. anon

    Your rationale is flawed, anonimouse; the occasional mistakes the Argus makes would not be eliminated by publishing once weekly. How would the content be improved? It would be worse, considering the Argus would have to squash twice as much news into one paper, or print double the amount of pages. Either way, you’re wrong.

  35. anonimouse

    THE ARGUS SHOULD COME OUT ONCE A WEEK.

    RATIONALE:
    – IMPROVED CONTENT.
    – MORE MONEY FOR THE REST OF SBC-FUNDED STUDENT ACTIVITIES.
    END OF STORY.
    THIS IS A NO-BRAINER!

    IS THE HEAD OF THE SBC FOR NEXT YEAR LISTENING?!?

  36. anonimouse

    THE ARGUS SHOULD COME OUT ONCE A WEEK.

    RATIONALE:
    – IMPROVED CONTENT.
    – MORE MONEY FOR THE REST OF SBC-FUNDED STUDENT ACTIVITIES.
    END OF STORY.
    THIS IS A NO-BRAINER!

    IS THE HEAD OF THE SBC FOR NEXT YEAR LISTENING?!?

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