The Message

Are You Positive?

The key to the agreement was a new five-year contract between UNC and the Mirror that removed the Student Representative Council from making any funding decisions about the paper. Now, the Mirror will receive $3.17 from each full-time student paying UNC student-activity fees, a number calculated to bring in an amount of cash roughly equal to the $37,000 it received last school year. The arrangement builds in increases based on the inflation rate up to 5 percent a year.

After four years, negotiations for a new contract can begin, and both sides will have the chance to opt out. UNC, under the auspices of the State of Colorado, "reserves the right to inspect the services performed under this contract at all reasonable times" -- and if the Mirror is found wanting, possible remedies include suspending publication. This language has an ominous ring to it, but Gloria Reynolds, UNC's director of media relations, doesn't think it should be interpreted in that way. "The contract does a good job of saying what we expect from them," she says, "and I think that will prevent any surprises."

Urie, who recently began an internship with the Denver Post, hopes so. "Our fate is in their hands, but it's every five years instead of every one, so that's less of a headache," he says. "And I don't think they'd really want to eliminate a century-old newspaper that's always been part of the university." He believes the resolution of the lawsuits represent a victory "for newspapers and for student rights. I would have preferred that there never would have been a hassle in the first place and everyone would have been grown-up about it, but these things happen."

Especially in journalism.

Named: On October 15, the Rocky Mountain News reported that the woman who accuses basketballer Kobe Bryant of raping her last year refiled the case under her own name, rather than that of Jane Doe. Moreover, the Rocky, which had contended in federal court that she shouldn't be allowed to proceed under a pseudonym, printed her moniker for the first time, with John Temple, the paper's editor/publisher/president, saying "fairness requires that both parties be named in reporting on this civil lawsuit."

Surprisingly, only a handful of national news organizations have followed the Rocky's lead, with the Denver Post explaining its reasons for taking the anonymity route in an October 17 note credited to editor Greg Moore and managing editor Gary Clark. Rape "provokes a unique set of questions and blame that does not apply to victims of other crimes," they maintain, adding that naming accusers "often discourages the reporting of rape."

While the Moore-Clark manifesto is well thought out and eminently defensible, one argument for maintaining the status quo -- that shifting course "might have necessitated a broader change in practice" -- isn't especially persuasive. Because the circumstances of the Bryant situation are so singular, applying them to other matters is all but impossible. That's one reason Westword prefers to deal with such concerns on a case-by-case basis. In this instance, the woman's decision to refile under her own name instead of settling the dispute or appealing Judge Richard Matsch's order that she do so suggests to us that she's now come to terms with being publicly identified, as she's been in many venues for more than a year.

Her name, by the way, is Katelyn Faber -- but a lot of you knew that already.

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