The following excerpt comes from a Letter to the Editor that I submitted this afternoon to the Effingham Daily News in a meeting with the Editor.
Two area high schools recently competed in regional Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) competitions. One school in Farina competed February 6th at Kaskaskia College and one school in Effingham competed February 8th in Mattoon.
Both schools earned first place in their respective regional competitions; the headline for the article regarding South Central High School in Farina explicitly stated this (as did the opening line) in the article published February 14th, while the article regarding St. Anthony High School in Effingham hid the corresponding fact within the article published February 13th without putting such information in the headline.
South Central placed first in regional competitions last year, as did St. Anthony; this fact about South Central was explicitly stated while it was not stated about St.
Both schools will go on to compete in sectional competitions in the Spring; the article for South Central explicitly stated this while the article for St. Anthony did not.
Both schools submitted pictures of their teams: the picture of South Central’s team was published while the picture of St. Anthony’s team was not.
St. Anthony’s WYSE team received second place in the State competition last year; no mention of this was made and was reported last year one month after the fact.
South Central’s WYSE team coach was named but St. Anthony’s coach was not.
It is true that the article concerning St. Anthony briefly concerned other area schools, but this is no reason to short change the St. Anthony students with a deserved headline and better coverage....
We at St. Anthony’s whole-heartedly congratulate South Central for their
excellent performance and wish them well in future competitions. In no way do we wish to detract from their recognition, which is rightly theirs. While we are grateful for the recognition given us, we wish simply to receive the same recognition for achieving the same.
I brought with me one of our elederly parishioners who remains active and respected in the community to help explain and express our concerns to the Editor, who seems to have sincerely listened to us and offered explanations as to the differences of the two articles, which I will not go into here (though I will say that some fault lies with both sides).Suffice it to say that the Editor offered to personally rewrite the story and rerun the article early next week, including the picture.
I am very pleased with the outcome of the meeting and hope that St. Anthony of Padua Parish and the Effingham Daily News will be able to communicate with each other and work together better in the months and years to come.
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