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Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

Lariviere only to consent to an interview with pre-screened questions and responses.

Here’s an e-mail I got from the UO’s spokesperson Julie Brown this morning.

Hi Alex,

I hope you’re well.  I’m following up about your request to interview President Lariviere.  It’s disappointing that you chose to write about your conversation with Staci, but I want to help you get the information you’re requesting. You can always contact me with requests for leaders on campus in the same way you did when working for the ODE.

The president wants students to be informed about how the legislative action this winter and spring may change the short-term and long-term access and affordability of education. As I understand your request, this will be the topic of your Q&A. Please send your questions to me and I will facilitate getting the president’s answers for you. Deadline information would be helpful too.



Let me say this about Julie Brown: I worked for the Emerald for two years and dealt with her on a regular basis, so I have ample experience working with her. Spokespeople get a lot of criticism from journalists, but I never found her to be anything other than helpful and honest to the greatest degree possible, professional even when, as in my wayward early days, I was not. If I lived in a circle of hell where I could only conduct interviews through questions relayed by a public relations professional, I’d want Julie Brown to be that professional.

However, that’s not where I live. If given the choice between questioning someone in a position of power through a public relations professional and not questioning him or her at all, when the object is a question-and-answer transcript, I think any journalist who truly values the difficult, precise questions and spontaneous, unrehearsed responses that such a situation requires would choose the latter option.

  1. anonymous coward says:

    PS – I love that you print the email scolding you for printing the email.

  2. anonymous coward says:

    Have you considered that a man who just had prostate surgery might be a little sensitive about the OC’s big balls issue? Maybe you should compromise and provide a list of questions you will *not* ask?

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