Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Schaumburg: Addressing Mr. Wogen's concerns"

Created: Saturday, December 19, 2009 12:44 a.m.

Schaumburg: Addressing Mr. Wogen's concerns

If you missed Monday morning's schmooze-fest on WLBK AM-1360 with now-former DeKalb 3rd Ward Alderman Victor Wogen, you missed some head-shaking comments from Wogen.

By now you know Wogen resigned his position of alderman during a Monday morning broadcast on WLBK. He presumably chose to make his announcement on the radio station because he views it as a Wogen-friendly media outlet. After all, he said WLBK "does the best job of any media source in this community." Nevermind the fact that WLBK spelled Wogen's name incorrectly in its story about his resignation on its Web site and that, oftentimes, a WLBK news story becomes a story because the Daily Chronicle reported it first.

I guess that's what Wogen means when he says "best job." But I digress.

After you get past Wogen's reason for resigning and his declaration that his biggest accomplishment in office was that he helped a resident paint a house, there are two interesting sound bites from the interview: his take on story-commenters and his perception of the Daily Chronicle.

On a side note, let me take this opportunity to explain that people who leave comments on stories at or any other newspaper Web site are not "bloggers," and shouldn't be referred to as "bloggers." A blogger is someone who writes a Web log – called a blog for short. People who leave comments should be referred to as story-commenters or commenters.

For Wogen's rant on story comments, however, he refers to story-commenters as bloggers. Here it is:

"You definitely can't read that stuff, you know. It's garbage," Wogen said. "Honestly, these bloggers, they really need to be able to use their name. They're just cowards. The one thing I would say to those people is I would hate to be them. I would hate to wake up mad every morning and have to be them because they're not ever going to be happy. All they want to do is complain and complain. The sad part is a lot of those people actually ran for offices in the last election. And this community basically told them we don't want them. That's not what this community is looking for. But, yet, they still want to voice their opinion, and most of them do it anonymously."

Let's dissect. First, he refers to the criticism, feedback and opinion of story-commenters as "garbage." I wonder if Wogen realizes that some of that criticism and feedback came from his constituents. But the best part is Wogen's thoughts on those who unsuccessfully ran for public office. In Wogen's world, if you lost an election, you no longer should be voicing an opinion, First Amendment be damned.

Then, there is Wogen's rant on the Daily Chronicle, where he cites the coverage of the city contracts awarded to his now-defunct masonry business:

"You know, we saved the taxpayers money by bidding on projects," Wogen said. "We did nothing wrong, but, yet, it was in the paper for seven, eight days, you know. Different articles, but it's the same article rehashed over and over. I guess I just don't understand why. If you print something once and, really, you've printed all the facts and nothing's been found wrong, why you beating a dead horse?

"I think there's some point where you have to separate what a person does politically and what a person is doing personally," Wogen continued. "And if one's not affecting the other, then I have no idea why they mix them.

"And that's my frustration with the Chronicle the whole time I've been in office. It seems like when they call and you give them information, it's never printed accurately. They always want to put their twist on it. Or they want to make the news instead of report the news. And I think at LBK, you guys report the news. People want to hear facts. They want to hear what the news is. I don't think they want the Chronicle to be the Enquirer and make up stuff."

Oh, where do I begin? Here's how newspaper reporting works, Mr. Wogen. Stories develop over the course of days, even weeks. Each time there is a new development in a story, a new article is written to report on that development. Because newspapers can't assume someone has read every article about a story or issue, it must include background and "rehash" what has been reported to that point.

A newspaper has three main types of articles, Mr. Wogen: straight-news articles, columns and editorials. News articles report the facts of a story. Columns tend to provide the opinion of the column writer. Editorials present the opinion and point of view of the newspaper as a whole. Perhaps you've confused opinion for "twist."

Lastly, Mr. Wogen, when it comes to your assertion that information in the Daily Chronicle is "never printed accurately," you have never called our newsroom looking for a correction on any article written about the city contracts issue. That would indicate to me that the news was printed accurately.

If you disagree, Mr. Wogen, please make us aware of any mistake we might have made. As we state on page A2 of every newspaper, accuracy is important to the Daily Chronicle. So, if we got something wrong, let us know so we can confirm it and correct it if need be.


As of today, there is a change in our Letters to the Editor policy. Instead of only being allowed to publish one letter per month, you now will be allowed to publish one letter every 15 days, as long as the letter is originally written and addresses a local issue.


Try as we might, the Daily Chronicle was unable to get NIU Police Chief Donald Grady on the phone this week to talk about his first week back on the job and to get his reaction to some new NIU initiatives.

We called and e-mailed Grady every day since Monday because we know the public wants to hear from him. We'll keep trying.

• Jason Schaumburg is editor of the Daily Chronicle. E-mail him at You also can follow him on Twitter at

Copyright © 2009 Daily Chronicle. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

GhostofDekalb said...

It has unfortunately become very obvious that Mr. Schaumburg, who couldn't seem to attain any responsible position during his THREE years at the NIU Northern Star is a placeholder.