I'm still surprised I made it out of this one alive (and employed). Writing the email felt good.
(Sending it felt better.)
Providing background information for the context of this email would help a lot. I will give the succinct version.
Last year: 4 sections of paper -- News, Sports, Arts & Entertainment, Lifestyles.
This year: 3 sections of paper -- News, Sports, Arts & Life.
Reason provided for this change from owner and editor-in-chief: "Streamline information." "Too much confusion of overlap between the sections."
Response to this email: Editor-in-chief likes to cover him some sports, and he will continue to "cover the hell" out of football while Arts faces off against Life in a war for space.
(And YES, that was the "succinct" version.)
Bottom line: I bite the bullet until ol' editor-in-chief graduates this fall, then aspire to gain a higher position...
Subject: Volume XV, Issue 7 of the FSView & Florida Flambeau (a.k.a. "Florida State vs. Troy")
Dear operators of FSU's official, student-run newspaper,
As an avid reader of the FSView and Florida Flambeau, I was among the first to notice the change of formatting that begun this fall semester, with A&E and Lifestyles being combined into one section. My mind was put to ease when I realized that no longer would any occasional overlap of story ideas or topics bleed into neighboring sections--if any stories on the aspects of students' lifestyles on and around campus were afloat, they would appear in Arts & Life (or, if deemed proper, in News); stories on student health/fitness/nutrition, student sexuality, Hollywood movies, restaurants, recent CDs, fashion, DVDs, nudist resorts, television, local concerts, books, Greek organizations, local plays/musicals, local art exhibits, how to prepare for parties, and many other subjects would likewise be neatly contained within Arts & Life.
But my logic failed me today when I viewed the current issue of the paper. Naturally, I read the front story on the cover of News, to see what the most important event of the previous couple of days was. The Florida State vs. Troy game did seem important in that it was the first home game of the season and that an unranked team almost beat the No. 9-ranked Seminoles team. At the end of the article, I noticed a teaser leading to a commentary in the Viewpoints section. I thought that would be interesting. Turns out it was a commentary in Viewpoints on the minor game that was covered in News by the managing editor. Well, it was relevant and somewhat informational at least. So let's see what's going on in Sports...
A full-page spread on the Florida State vs. Troy game? Well, football IS a big moneymaker here, and the game DID affect thousands of people. So, what does the Sports Editor have to say about the current state of sports...? oh. Another commentary on the Troy game. I suppose that was one heck of a game.
Anyway, I just wrote in to present a bit of my confusion over what material goes into what section of the 'View. It seems to me that maybe if a certain topic were contained to a certain section (outside of MAJOR events), that maybe readers would experience more of a "streamlined" effect, knowing where to open the paper in order to find a story that would interest them. Or, perhaps if you had notified the editors in Arts & Life, they could have written a lead story about football uniforms, football fashion, or the like for this issue of the newspaper, giving it a common theme about a noticeably weak effort from an FSU organization in what appeared to be a minor event.
Thank you for your time in reading this,
J----- -- -- ----
Efforts like this on my part are akin to throwing pebbles at a giant: I can get his attention, even knick him a little bit, but getting him to do something based on logic and any sense of "fairness" would be like trying to reason with... well, with a lumbering giant. At least he didn't squash me this time, although he raised a hand of admonition.
When I wrote this up, I didn't give any thought to being polite out of sake for my job. I mean, the pay is decent enough (not "good," though, for the amount of work I do and crap I put up with), but losing a paid position over my principles here would only be a loss to me in terms of seeing my section dissolve into utter ridiculousness without me there.
I guess this is a taste of what many like to call the "real world," no?