Friday, May 23, 2008

The D Breaks a Story! Not.

In today’s Daily Dartmouth, there’s an article that acts like a real-live journalism piece: that is, it pretends to be news with an angle. Truly, though, the article possesses neither news nor a worthy angle—the fact that the Phrygians support the AoA parity slate is not news, and the only angle driving the piece is outing the members of the Phrygian society.

The D takes issue with the fact that the Phrygians are taking over Dartmouth’s media outlets by—wait for it…writing letters to the editor of the D. The infamous Bonnie Lam comic, of course, is a more serious attempt, but seems less like the Phrygians taking over the D and more like bad editing on the D’s part. But read the article yourself and comment below!


UPDATE below the jump: D Editor-in-chief Katy O'Donnell allegedly ghost wrote the Phrygian article.

UPDATE [3:57 pm]: Katy O'Donnell allegedly ghost wrote today's piece on the Phrygian society, the piece for which Nick Swanson has the by-line. A friend of The Dartmouth Review's, who wishes to remain anonymous, told TDR that O'Donnell ghost wrote the piece; when I asked the source 1) What motivated O’Donnell to do this and 2) how s/he knew that O’Donnell ghost wrote the article, the source responded:

Part of it is sycophancy; they [the D writers and editors] think they get ahead by going to bat for the administration and the creme of the alums who are behind the efforts to curtail the petition process. She [O’Donnell] also is very angry with Alex Felix for the cartoon ordeal, which I hear took a lot out of her...

Two people at the D told me she wrote it, and in her emails she repeatedly referred to it as her own work. However, D "policy" is that the ed [editor] cannot write articles. So she faked a byline. Which is a an egregious violation of ethics.



Again, this is an allegation, and I have already contacted Katy to see if the allegation has any merit. I’ll let readers know as soon as she responds.

UPDATE #2 [9:19 am, May 26]: When I got in touch with Katy O'Donnell this past weekend, she pointed out that it is not against the D's editorial policy for the editor-in-chief to pen editorials. However, she did not respond to the allegation that she ghost wrote the piece, saying instead "surely people realize that an editor's job is to help reporters." Having heard the allegation of ghost-writing repeated by two members of the D, I asked her about it once more, but she did not respond to the allegation, but merely asked me the names of the D members who corroborated the claim.





26 comments:

Anonymous said...

The "bribery" post and this one are interesting right next to each other, and both fairly juvenile.

Dartmouth Undying paying people to do the legwork to get its message out is about as shocking as the news that the Phrygians are actually doing something other than holding secret meetings.

Do you see no humor in the D's reporting on the Phrygian society?

Anonymous said...

The Phrygians are pretty silly, but you have to admit that the only point of that article was to print their names.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the Phrygians are on their way to becoming an alumni Affiliated Group.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't seen or heard the Wayne's World catch phrase in a long time.

Phrygia Phil said...

Those are just the names we allowed the D to uncover. We actually have a far more sinister list of members, and a far more sinister set of objectives.

Anonymous said...

Phrygia Phil is quite correct. For proof all you need do is check out the picture of the preppy Phrygians that appeared in The D last year with their poster boy, Terrible Todd, front and center. Now that's scarry! (That's not typo - it means, "leaves scars")

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it's bizarre or at least unique that Phrygian's goals are all political rather than social? It's totally different from the senior societies, because it is trying to accrue enough influence within the trustees or elsewhere to overthrow the administration. When's the last time Sphinx had an agenda that did not involve beer, let alone one that had anything to do with the Dartmouth administration?

Anonymous said...

You seem to imply that the "agendas" of other secret societies are all common knowledge... I'm not aware of any of them.

It is somewhat newsworthy to report on the results of the Phrygians' media campaign. The article does go pretty far out of its way to name names, but the content is otherwise at least as newsworthy as anything else they report. Besides, this article will probably do little more than boost the egos of the Phrygians. They seem to think they're collectively some sort of modern Thomas Paine.

Didn't the Review out all of the gay kids at Dartmouth, like 15 years ago, by writing letters to their parents?

A.S. Erickson said...

Didn't the Review out all of the gay kids at Dartmouth, like 15 years ago, by writing letters to their parents?

No. A reporter from the Review covered a public GSA meeting; the following article had quotes from the officers with their names. Unknown to both the Review and the GSA officers, some of their grandparents were subscribers to the paper and were unaware of their grandchild's orientation.

Anonymous said...

The agendas of the senior societies are simple: fellowship, personal fulfillment, and service. They are mostly social, under the first prong. None of them has explicitly political goals.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that the Phrygians, Dartmouth Parity, Dartmouth Undying, the AoA, and the Board of Trustees all need to get a life, if you ask me. That any of this is happening speaks volumes for some of these people's sex life.

Anonymous said...

Who are the people "behind the efforts to curtail the petition process" and how can I meet them?

Anonymous said...

You can meet them at an Alumni Council meeting. These are the people who represent us.

Anonymous said...

The petition process? Nobody's trying to curtail the petition process, silly undergrad.

Anonymous said...

Whatever, I petition the fact that you've never been laid

Anonymous said...

Big words, especially at 7:25PM. Dream.

Anonymous said...

Great story, Katy. It's nice to see that The D has the courage to run clearly newsworthy information even though the entitled backlash is predictable. No legitimate journalist would suggest that the membership of a secret political organization is not newsworthy. Politicians and political organizations, like The Dartmouth Review, will always try to divert attention from the information to the fact that it was published, but, fact is, that Phrygian is spearheading the student Parity movement is relevent whether you support or oppose the cause.

dartmouth '09 said...

Um, Katy? I guess it's better to write something as 'anonymous' rather than putting someone else's name on it...but still.

alumnus said...

Again another attempt to shift the focus from the real information about what really matters, Dartmouth College. I would love to hear someone who opposes the publication of Phrygian's connection to the elections explain why one secret group's deep entrenchment within the campaign should be kept from society, from the alumni among whom this information is not common knowledge.

Anonymous said...

@ alumnus

If you don't know that the supposedly secret phyrgians are opposed to the board-packing, then that's your problem. The only real story would have been if the phrygians were in favor of the board-packing.

alumnus said...

@ post of 8:07

well im glad there are journalists in this world who don't have the "if you don't know, it's your problem" mentality. the movement seems to have the mentality of "take our word for it, but don't dare scrutinize us or our motives because only journalists without integrity would do such a thing." and the fact that phrygians not only support this student campaign but continue to be the main players is news every single time it happens.

Uninformed alumnus said...

I don't know anything about journalism, but I would like to know how to join the Phrygians.

Anonymous said...

@ alumnus

How daft are you? Saying you're relieved that the D is recycling this piece is about the equivalent of saying you're glad the NYTimes ran an expose titled "Alaska: State Leaders Contend that It's The Largest State."

Because, you know, it would be an outrage if the D had only reported once that the phrygians were pro-parity. Look, i'm in favor of the governance changes, but this was a thinly veiled attempt to get back at Bleuer and Felix by O'Donnell for their comic. This was not journalism. This was petty.

Anonymous said...

When have all these people been revealed as Phrygians? And I don't mean "known around campus." There was some real news here, and more people than just students read the paper.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with 3:39. Outing the Phrygians is indeed "news." At least as much as anything else the D reports.

When this article came out a while back, the contents were news to me:
http://thedartmouth.com/2007/03/07/news/secret/

What right or expectation do they have that their names will be kept secret?

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