Monday, January 30, 2012

Dear New Yorker: YJI Deserves Better

To the editor:
In Ian Parker's piece about Tyler Clementi, the work of Youth Journalism International reporter Cresonia Hsieh was seriously shortchanged. Instead of mentioning her name and affiliation, Parker wrote "an acquaintance who memorialized Clementi online."
Tyler Clementi
First off, her piece was much more than a memorial to Tyler. Hsieh was actually wrestling with her memory of Tyler and her own failure to do more to reach out to him.
She also wrote it for Youth Journalism International -- which published it in the online newspaper, The Tattoo -- not on some MySpace page or thinly read blog. We feel rather insulted to be dismissed so summarily.
Moreover, the picture that Parker describes in his piece came to his attention only because Hsieh managed to secure permission for it to run in The Tattoo and nowhere else. Real work went into that, too, again with no credit.
Many thousands of people read Hsieh's work. It won journalism awards. It stands on its own. But it would have been nice for The New Yorker to give her the credit she deserves instead of treating her work as if it were done by some numbskull posting on Facebook.
We routinely give credit to The New Yorker. We deserve at least as much respect in return.
-- Steve Collins
President, Board of Directors
Youth Journalism International

Note to readers:
Parker's piece in this week's issue included this passage:

"An acquaintance who memorialized Clementi online wrote, 'Tyler never said very much or interacted with the rest of the youth group at the church I attended with him.' This post is accompanied by a photograph of Clementi on a church outing in 2007. Sitting on a bus, he is staring at the camera; behind him, a girl is laughing and putting on lipstick. He seems out of step even with his own bright-orange T-shirt, which reads 'Daytona Beach.'"


To see Cresonia Hsieh's piece, follow this link.

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