Lariat letter: Coverage lacking in face of tragedy

By Stephen Heyde

Congratulations for your sensitive and comprehensive coverage of the tragedy in West that has affected us all so profoundly.

Realizing that this breaking news appropriately pre-empted stories that were scheduled, I still question decisions made about what to run and what to cut. Unfortunately, these reflect institutional values and merit some serious questions.

What was considered too sacrosanct to be cut? Two full pages of athletics, including a lengthy Associated Press account of an NFL vice president’s visit to Houston to “size up the city’s bid for Super Bowl LI.” A story on Brittany Griner’s personal life and an extensive account of the baseball teams’ upcoming 38th game of the year were deemed essential to the April 19 edition.

What was left out? I know one story for certain. There was not one mention of the efforts of 350 Baylor students and their upcoming performance of Beethoven’s epic 9th Symphony.
This work, one of the greatest creations in human history, speaks exactly to the situation our community and country find themselves in today. Lonely and isolated in his deafness, Beethoven wrote a piece that extols joy and celebrates brotherhood and the human potential that God has given us to do the right thing for each other. For a campus newspaper to completely disregard the efforts of 350 students to prepare for a performance of a monumental expression of humanity heard on our campus only once in 14 years, calls much into question.

– Stephen Heyde, Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Activities, Conductor-in-Residence and Chair, Ensemble Division

Editor’s note: “President’s concert to feature Beethoven,” ran Friday on the Lariat website.