The Simpsonian is not The New York Times’

by Shara Tibken

Simply Stated is back, with a vengeance. Students have been taking advantage of the anonymity of the Web site to post whatever rants they want.

Most of the posts are negative and complain about something. A vast majority of the posters make up fake names. Many don’t hesitate to bash The Simpsonian, columns and staff.

Just look at the response on the message boards to Kari Koehler’s column about “breeders.”

Students used it as a chance to attack both the writer and the content. Though, not a single poster about the story used his or her own name.

How brave is it to post something without signing a real name? The anonymity may allow students to voice their real opinions more freely, but it may also empower people to say whatever they want without being forced to think about what their words mean.

When not having to face the consequences for what you say, you’re more likely to say whatever you want without thinking, no matter how hurtful or just plain stupid the comments are.

Truthfully, Simply Stated is entertaining to read. It’s fun to see what outrageous things will be posted next.

But unlike you anonymous posters, Simpsonian staffers have to sign their names to their work. We take credit for what we say, and we stand up to whatever backlash we may face.

We have definitely learned to face criticism, and I’m sure I’ll have a few mean posts in response to what I wrote.

Remember The Simpsonian is not The New York Times. It has never claimed to be and doesn’t even try to be. The staff is doing the best it can, and The Simpsonian regularly wins awards.

The Simpsonian is a weekly paper, which means it’s difficult to cover many stories. Some, like sporting events, would be very old news by the time the issue came out. There’s no way we can complete with daily newspapers. It’s just not possible.

Because of this, the staff tries to have a balance of hard and soft news. For those of you who aren’t communication majors, soft news is not usually serious and breaking news.

It’s meant to be entertaining, much like the columns written for the Perspectives page and many of the articles in Lifestyles. We try to include fun stories in the paper, not just serious ones.

People would probably complain either way, though.

No, the Simpsonian is definitely not perfect, but it’s not bad, either. There are always things we can improve, but there are also things we do well.

We can take your criticism, but please give us useful comments instead of simply saying we suck.

I challenge you Simply Stated posters to sign your real names. State what you believe in but then stand by those words.

Even if people disagree with you, it’s still your First Amendment right to have that say.

Maybe you’ll see what it’s like to face criticism. Unless you sign your name, you’ll never know.

If you think the Simp is awful (or great), tell us. If you think you know some changes that would improve it, tell us.

If you want to complain about some aspect of the Simpson community, feel free to do so.

Just sign your name next time.