There’s been a lot of heated discussion over the piece that NUVO’s run entitled “Ban Trump from Indy” (Kyle Long, NUVO, print issue date 3/16/16) and the response piece “Sorry, you can’t ban Trump” (that’d be me, NUVO, 3/16/16). Both are already online in earlier drafts.
Some of the discussion has centered around whether or not Long’s qualified to speak regarding the experiences of minority citizens. Despite whatever merits that point may or may not have in this instance, I understand that critique — I’ll be the first to concede that given my white male privilege I can’t ever know the terror that non-whites must feel when a racist like Donald Trump becomes the GOP frontrunner.
Some of our staffers have engaged with commenters, including editors from other publications. A lot of accusations have been tossed about, and I’m worried that the conversation has reached a pitch that’s threatening to drown out the other issues that NUVO must address. There’s been a lack of civility and it’s become apparent that we’ve not helped the situation.
But I’m not penning this to defend or deny anyone’s position, including ours. As NUVO’s managing editor, I can, however, promise you this:
NUVO always welcomes pitches for content from anyone. Absolutely anyone. Always. It’d be entirely counter-productive for the publication to do otherwise. We’re actively, constantly, doggedly seeking out the most diverse group we can gather. I swear to whatever deity’s listening that I’d love for that process to move more quickly, but we are a small staff wrangling the issues faced by a big city and a state legislature that’s consistently trying to limit the rights of Indiana’s citizens. So: PLEASE send me your pitches. If the writing’s there, if the pitch is solid, you can get your byline into this thing called NUVO.
We won’t silence any legitimate voices on the site or elsewhere. While some of the back-and-forth on the site seems to have drifted off-topic, everyone but the spammers will continue to have their say.
I guide my editors regarding content. I’ve never asked a single member of my staff to comment on anything on my behalf. I do defend their editorial decisions, even when things get messy (probably a little too strongly on occasion). When it turns out we’ve screwed up, I promise you transparency: We’ll admit and we’ll correct.
I’d like to leave you with a simple plea: We’re all terrified. I don’t know if we’re watching the rebirth of the segregationist-minded Dixie pre-Civil Rights Act or the rebirth of Europe in the ‘30s, but the fear’s palpable. Please pitch me your ideas and your work, and please help us give a voice to the voiceless.
(Note: this post has been edited slightly as of 3/16/16.)