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*The end is here HR and Xc Kiss and make up!!! (Pg 6) Upperville by the Wash Post

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  • *The end is here HR and Xc Kiss and make up!!! (Pg 6) Upperville by the Wash Post

    I was so disappointed to open the sports section today and see the write up of Upperville listed under the heading of "Steeplechasing" UGH!! Here's the article

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Jun13.html

    And here's the email I promptly shot off to the sports department... they may not read it ever but at least I tried.

    This is written in response to Jackie Burke's article about the $100,000 Upperville Jumper Classic, held yesterday in Upperville, VA.

    Does the Washington Post usually print an article with flagrant mistakes? I will avoid mentioning the intricate horse knowledge faux pas, and skip straight to the layperson's mistakes. Since when does an Olympic gold medallist have to wait 2 years to receive his medals?

    "The tiebreaking jump-off, which featured Fargis, the 1986 double gold medal winner..."

    OK first off... the medals he won were Olympic medals and should always be noted as such, or else people might be saying "who gave the medals? The local association, or the IOC?"

    Second... the Olympics are held on a quadrennial cycle, thus the summer games always land on a presidential election year here in the US. Mr. Fargis won his individual and team gold medals at the 1984 Olympic games held in Los Angeles.


    Next problem, the column is situated under the category "Steeplechase." Steeplechasing is an altogether different sport and since D.C. is in close proximity of the Virginia steeplechasing circuit, you are in fact amongst many savvy readers. This type of competition was a Show Jumping competition.
    As it is an International discipline, which is included at the Olympics, it should be noted under its own category. Only so many countries hold steeplechasing events, but many more host show jumping classes.

    Next, Ms. Burke just mentions Margie Engle's name as being one of three in the jump off. Any insider of the horse world could have pointed out that Margie herself has won the Upperville Classic numerous times, was on the 2000 Olympic team, and has recently been returning to elite level competition after breaking her leg near the hip joint early this spring. As part of this there has been controversy that she was not given a bye to this years Olympic team due to her success with Hidden Creek's Perin (her Upperville 2nd place finisher horse) last year on the 2003 Pan Am team. Where she helped bring home a team gold medal, thus qualifying the US. team for the Athens Olympics.

    I guess I am just disappointed with the coverage of an event that has a long history in this area and is held in high esteem within the horse world. I would hope that having most of the 2000 Olympic equestrian team representatives as residents within the Post readership area would inspire the sports department to do a thorough report on area equestrian events...but maybe I am being idealistic, or worse unrealistic.

    Please at least try to correct the egregious mistakes. Olympians deserve to be noted as such and their hard earned accomplishments recognized correctly.

    With hopes for better reporting this summer covering Athens,

    ~Emily

    (Edited to alter title and fix spelling error)
    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries
  • Original Poster

    #2
    I was so disappointed to open the sports section today and see the write up of Upperville listed under the heading of "Steeplechasing" UGH!! Here's the article

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Jun13.html

    And here's the email I promptly shot off to the sports department... they may not read it ever but at least I tried.

    This is written in response to Jackie Burke's article about the $100,000 Upperville Jumper Classic, held yesterday in Upperville, VA.

    Does the Washington Post usually print an article with flagrant mistakes? I will avoid mentioning the intricate horse knowledge faux pas, and skip straight to the layperson's mistakes. Since when does an Olympic gold medallist have to wait 2 years to receive his medals?

    "The tiebreaking jump-off, which featured Fargis, the 1986 double gold medal winner..."

    OK first off... the medals he won were Olympic medals and should always be noted as such, or else people might be saying "who gave the medals? The local association, or the IOC?"

    Second... the Olympics are held on a quadrennial cycle, thus the summer games always land on a presidential election year here in the US. Mr. Fargis won his individual and team gold medals at the 1984 Olympic games held in Los Angeles.


    Next problem, the column is situated under the category "Steeplechase." Steeplechasing is an altogether different sport and since D.C. is in close proximity of the Virginia steeplechasing circuit, you are in fact amongst many savvy readers. This type of competition was a Show Jumping competition.
    As it is an International discipline, which is included at the Olympics, it should be noted under its own category. Only so many countries hold steeplechasing events, but many more host show jumping classes.

    Next, Ms. Burke just mentions Margie Engle's name as being one of three in the jump off. Any insider of the horse world could have pointed out that Margie herself has won the Upperville Classic numerous times, was on the 2000 Olympic team, and has recently been returning to elite level competition after breaking her leg near the hip joint early this spring. As part of this there has been controversy that she was not given a bye to this years Olympic team due to her success with Hidden Creek's Perin (her Upperville 2nd place finisher horse) last year on the 2003 Pan Am team. Where she helped bring home a team gold medal, thus qualifying the US. team for the Athens Olympics.

    I guess I am just disappointed with the coverage of an event that has a long history in this area and is held in high esteem within the horse world. I would hope that having most of the 2000 Olympic equestrian team representatives as residents within the Post readership area would inspire the sports department to do a thorough report on area equestrian events...but maybe I am being idealistic, or worse unrealistic.

    Please at least try to correct the egregious mistakes. Olympians deserve to be noted as such and their hard earned accomplishments recognized correctly.

    With hopes for better reporting this summer covering Athens,

    ~Emily

    (Edited to alter title and fix spelling error)
    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

    Comment


    • #3
      Right on! You go girl!

      "If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me

      Comment


      • #4
        You tell um!!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Um, I never log onto the h-j page, but thought I would do so to see what everybody said about Upperville. Sad I did, now.
          You people are jumping on a reporter who gave up her day to cover your horse show. Being a Post reporter myself, and given the fact that Jackie Burke is my mother, I feel obliged to comment.
          1. Jackie does not put the 'story topper' on the story. The layout designer does. At the Post's ARlington office. Do NOT jump on the reporter for that.
          2. Jackie was AT the 1984 Games. Can you say 'typo.'? Stuff happens. Fargis was a double gold winner .Get over it that the eds (again, at the main office, NOT Jackie) mistyped the info.
          3. The stories, as you can surely see, are very limited as to space. Who cares if Margie was the grand poobah champion another year? This story was about the winner. Not the loser. Sorry, but space is limited.
          4. You imagine the Post is going to cover horse sports after how you people jump on them? Guess again. I am going to the Games to cover for my local newspaper chains, and was going to offer coverage to the POst, but I will not now, seeing how much 'appreciation' you readers have for our hard work and dedication to horse sports.
          5. Jackie usually covers steeplechase - this is no doubt why they accidentally put the wrong page topper on her story. So sorry ...
          6. Oh, and you say 'Olympic medals should always be noted as such.' A. Space limitations, again - you choose words carefully. And B. You imagine you can do a better job? I invite you into the very competitive world of journalism, my friend. See how well you do on a half-hour deadline from a cell phone remote wireless hookup on the announcers' stand. Plus, see if you could get the contract with the nation's best known newspaper.
          Jackie is a respected journalist and published author as well as a graduate A pony clubber and a terrific horsewoman. The more I look at your snotty comments the more angered I am. Don't you remember when the Post didn't give any time or space at ALL to ANY horse sports? Now you've got day-after coverage and all you do is complain.
          My dear girl, you have an outsized gripe and you are treading on delicate water to personally attack a reporter trying to do her job. Not to mention a person in the same business as me. Not to mention my mother. Please reflect upon your comments.
          * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey - at least there WAS coverage. Seems to me we should try to be nice to the media. Provide constructive criticism and insight if necessary. But if we keep b-ing and complaining about media coverage of our (currently not all that popular with the public) sport - guess what: they may decide just stop bothering to cover it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Err, just re-read the original post. Dearie, if you're going to misspell something as simple as 'disappointed' I think you have little claim to judge another's writing.
              This is still bothering me. Now I know what the other posters on the other boards mean when they say the 'claws are out' on the h-j board. Wow. You girls are mean. And for no reason.
              * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh, and another thing. ' ... all of the 2000 olympic team as area residents.' Fine, and certainly of note IF UPPERVILLE WAS A 3-DAY EVENT. The THREE DAY team from Sydney was all from here. NOT the show jumping team. Wow. Didn't you know that?
                * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

                Comment


                • #9
                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hunter's Rest:
                  Now I know what the other posters on the other boards mean when they say the 'claws are out' on the h-j board. Wow. You girls are mean. And for no reason. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                  psst - don't generalize, not all of us are "mean". I know you're worked up about this but if you notice, only 3 people out of thousands posted on this thread so far (and none that I would technically classify as deliberately mean). Easy there.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    And one more thing (then I'm going to step away from the monitor) what the hell are you talking about 'faux pas' of her reporting? I just re-read the story. Besides the POST's mistake added in about the 86 (not 84) Olympics, what are you on about? Are you nuts to send a mean note about the Post's only good horse reporter in years? Wow. I hope you'll send another, with your tail between your misspelling and mean little legs and say you were mistaken and retract your unwise comments. This is not a joke, girl - horse sports are a hard sell to the Post. They have much richer and more important (to them, anyway) events that they push aside for OUR HORSE SPORTS because Jackie knows which of our events are important. I think you need to carefully write another letter to the editor and apologize, say you actually enjoy the horse sports coverage you read and look forward to much more, and soon.
                    Wow, I cannot believe you sent that snotty note to them. HOw could anyone in ANY business take you seriously?
                    Enough. I'm over it. And I'm not coming to the h-j board to play again. I hope xcountry girl didn't ruin horse sports coverage in the WORLD's BIGGEST NEWSPAPER for all of us. Why don't a few more of you chime in and help make sure she retracts her comments to the Post and make sure she doesn't ruin future coverage?
                    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry BLGP. I just got a cup of herb tea and I'm a little more calm now. (But 'they' really do say h-j board is full of meanies .....) Didn't mean to generalize, but this girl has got me worked up. And this is not only my (part-time) job but also my MOTHER. See my point???!
                      * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hunter's Rest-
                        Your mother must have a dream job! "My job is to cover equestrian events". How fun!

                        I wish someone would post the article. It sounds like a few typos.... and rarely is the second place finisher elaborated on in ANY sport (do they interview Reserve Champion in the Chronicle?).
                        The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          OK lets try this in a more professional manner.

                          First off, I have been in journalism and broadcast journalism.

                          Second, I'm sorry if this article was written by your mother and she made typo's. But honestly journalistic integrity should strive for accurate and fair reporting at all times.

                          If I had written a similar article and made similar mistakes, or worse yet hadn't checked my facts, I would expect my editor and the public to call me on it. And afterwards I would again strive to write a better article next time.

                          An author who has published two (great having read them) books still has to rise to the occasion and cover the event on the day well. Space limitations and all.

                          I know your work as well and as such expect other equestrian reports to rise to the standard YOU set.

                          This report did not. Thus I commented.

                          I fail to see why pushing the major bodies of the press to present correct reporting of equestrian events is bad. Many people act like we should simply accept flawed articles and television commetary because "They're finally covering us!!! Yippeee."

                          In a word, NO.

                          Its now that the major press outlets ARE covering us that we should encourage/push them to be complete and correct.

                          I honestly know that the space the post provided was adequate enough to do a decent report. You could, and have, done very respectable work in less space.

                          And about the whole "who cares if Margie was the grand Poobah another year".. The article was naming the three people in the jump off. Joe was a double gold medal (who knows what kind) winner, Aaron had won it last year and Margie Engle. No comments on her career or anything. For all the layperson knows she could have just walked off of a UFO.

                          We want non horse people to enjoy our sport, be entranced with it, and to come back. So lets tell them the whole story complete with back grounds. And as far as space, why not just throw "Olympian" in to describe Margie. One more word... hmm I know there's a few words that could have been chucked.

                          For the Steeplechasing banner, and for that matter everything, I sent my complaints to the EDITOR. Thus the layout people can be accountable for themselves.

                          I did not write a complaint to your mother, Ms. Burke. I wrote one to the editor of the sports department. I have no issue with your mother as a person, nor do I question her credentials to write this article. The issue I do have is the inaccuracies and the lack of some dteails that would have rounded it out better.

                          Sooo lets elaborate and run with a statement of yours... *IF* someone wrote a book on Nascar, and if they then reported on it, and if the report had flaws in it....NO ONE is allowed to question the report, since an experienced author wrote it?? Wow I bet that if it said the Dale Jr. had never won in Bristol, and in fact he had.. he might actually COMPLAIN. Dear God.

                          Anyone who does a job is accountable to the people around him. A journalist is accountable to his readers, editors, and media group owners.
                          Thats part of the job. Are you going to go seek out anyone and everyone who has ever complained about your writing?

                          I, as a reader and subscriber of the POST, I am by rights allowed to complain of improper journalism. In any section. Even if I am complaining about a Pulitzer prize winner.

                          And if the media cannot improve itself and bags the whole covering of equestrian events... fine. Better to leave it to experienced writers who know how to convey it in a more conventional and attractive way to us riders.


                          ~Emily
                          "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ditto what Emily said. Honestly, I'm sure your mom is a terrific person, but a story is a story, and facts should be gotten straight. Period. That's the paper's whole job.

                            Furhtermore, if you're going to call all the H/J board "meanies" that's just fine, but I think Emily is mostly Cross Country, so don't jump all over her and include her with the rest of us horrid souls. A) Her "meanness" was hardly mean - just critical, which is completely witin the bounds of commenting on a public story in a public newspaper on a public forum and b) she's hardly even registering on the scale of mean. She's an amateur meanie - a greenie at mean - a no-name meanie hardly able to compete with us pros!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              wow. nasty nasty nasty!

                              first of all, on a very much lighter note, I take the Times over the Post any day. Go New York.

                              Ok, hometown pride aside, Hunter's Rest, I realize that you have a personal connection to the article both through the paper and the author, but the original poster really wasn't overly aware of the fact that you exist, so let's try to look at this objectively.

                              IF her complaint actually got read, then the email czar at the post will recognize that the mistakes she points out primarily have to do with editing. I'm going to guess that the person who did that does the sports section or other areas of the newspaper, so complaint letters may serves as a means of tracking someone who is less than diligent.

                              although you see the typos as trivial, i would be surprised if the post felt the same way. While I've never seen a comment about an improper spelling or usage, I have seen notes about improper dates or vague phrasing in newspapers. Why? Well, as someone who does a lot of research, I look to respected newspapers (like the post) to fact check other sources like independently published articles that might be less trustworthy.

                              While I understand that this is a trivial example, because it is an editorial problem and not the writer's problem, it might spill over into more important coverage if it is not recognized in less important articles.

                              lastly, you seem to think that xctrygirl's email will be detrimental to the coverage of equestrian sports. I don't think that, if the email is read, it will be taken as you read it. I'm sure that whomever manages reader complaints will recognize and be forgiving of a laypersons lack of knowledge regarding who does what in a newspaper and of the conditions that the article might have been written in. A response to an equestrian article, if anything, shows that a readership is there. Since newspapers like to be read, if there is proof of an audience interested in equestrian coverage, perhaps it will encourage more, not less, coverage.
                              Um, I don\'t spell check. Deal with it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                JESUS CHRIST. She was AT THE 1984 OLYMPICS. She KNOWS what year it was. The POST edited IN the mistake. Wow. Flame out ...
                                And as for covering the third place finisher's biography, when YOU get that job, please feel free to report on anyone you like. Margie didn't win. She doesn't get covered.
                                The facts were as straight as an arrow. There was a single, parenthetical, mistake EDITED IN. Stop criticizing the bit of coverage horse sports gets and support it, in big dailies as well as us little weeklies. Show me one other paper as big as the Post that covers horse sports REGULARLY (as in, every dinky point to point spring and fall, plus shows and events) like the Post does. Is there another? (There may be - I seriously don't know ...)
                                * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Well said, Box-of-Rox.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    yeah, read for comprehension...the complaint wasn't to your mother, but to the people who EDITED IN the mistake.

                                    again, i fail to see how this is NOT support for coverage, because it's proving that it gets read and is therefore not a waste of space.

                                    it's a nice (at least here) spring day out. go take something to make you a happier person.
                                    Um, I don\'t spell check. Deal with it.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hmmmm - Box of Rox, GOOD point re: email of any sort to eds means the horse stuff is getting read. Still ... why not a nice letter nicely noting the 86-84 clarification instead of the mean (it was mean) note she did?
                                      And Go-go, the meanie comment was a lighthearted poke, not a serious judgement. I could care less if you guys pick on each other. I use this board (mostly) for info I couldn't get elsewhere. (And boy, is it good for that.) It's just that the meanies on the h-j board are sort of legendary in other circles, and I'd not tip-toed into 'your' board ever before. So I stumbled into a personal subject and wondered if this was the 'meanie' group of lore????!
                                      * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hunter's Rest:
                                        So I stumbled into a personal subject and wondered if this was the 'meanie' group of lore????! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                        Nah - BoR is super nice usually, and as you can see pretty reasonable. Xcntrygrl I don't know so much - I think she's an eventer mostly, but anyway she's not a "legendary" meanie. it'll take her more than a comment on your mom's story to garner her that status, I'm afraid!

                                        Anyway, it is super that your mom was able to get anything in at all, and no doubt letters will help not only make the Post aware that people read the story but also to encourage them to edit with a little more gusto.

                                        Comment

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