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Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Saying a keynote is equivalent to a hand job or that the speaker is ugly is not positive criticism.”

News flash: Journalism students lack sense of humor.

Or at least some. On the other hand...no, not that kind of other hand.. some seem to be having fun.

The University of Toronto student paper The Varsity reports:

Josée Boileau did not expect to receive abusive tweets during her keynote at the Canadian University Press’ January national conference. As the editor-in-chief of Le Devoir was presenting on the paper’s history and adjustment to new media, a Twitter account named @le_devoir appeared, which featured a background picture of Boileau.  
The account, which also referenced her long speech and deemed her remarks arrogant, sparked comments from other delegates. One attendee tweeted that Boileau was “not just tooting the Le Devoir horn [but] leaning on it with all her weight,” while another lamented “sitting through an hour-long Le Devoir hand job.”
CUP is a non-profit media co-operative, with membership from campus papers at most Canadian universities. CUP President Erin Cauchi said she heard of the tweets shortly after the speech.  
“They were in poor taste and they were rude and I was horrified. I saw some people laughing about it, but I thought it was horrible.”
Cauchi said the “totally inexcusable” remarks prompted a phone call from Boileau and a response from conference heads.
“We made it clear very quickly that we do not condone that behavior as an organization.” 
Cauchi admitted that Boileau spoke for twice her allocated time. “She went for a long time. […] Print journalists aren’t as used to performing.”
Amid responses that the comments were only said in jest, Mai Anh Tran-Ho, editor-in-chief of Le Délit, the francophone paper at McGill University, shot back that “saying a keynote is equivalent to a hand job or that the speaker is ugly is not positive criticism.”
With her talent for stating the obvious, Ms Tran-Ho will have a superb future as a journalist in Quebec.

Not to spoil things for you, but the Varsity report doesn't say whether the speech had a happy ending.

Full story at The Varsity.

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