Letters to the Editor

Redundant headline in previous issue
First, let me establish my credentials. I am currently and have been for several semesters an adjunct professor in the Department of Journalism and Public Communication. I teach JPC A201 Reporting and Writing News. One of the books that we use as a text in the course is the Associated Press Stylebook. I encourage students in each class I teach to read “The Northern Light” and other publications as well. I also encourage those students to bring in examples of errors. Tuesday, Sept. 16’s edition brought me to my knees. Right in the middle of page B1 was a headline that sounded like nails across an old fashioned blackboard. That headline sent chills up my spine. I had to ask myself, “Did neither the sports editor, whose byline appears above the story, nor the copy editor realize that the phrase ‘first annual’ is redundant? Did neither study AP style in JPC A201, a required course to receive a journalism degree from UAA?” You cannot have an annual event until after you’ve held the event in at least two successive years. So both the story and the headline should have stated that the “ROTC organizes first 9/11 Memorial Run.” There are any number of ways the writer and/or the headline writer could have avoided this bit of illiteracy. So often we accept and seem to allow the creep of silliness in the written word. It is my contention if we worked hard at it we could help rid our country of illiteracy one word, one correction at a time. For this current problem, I refer you to The Associated Press Stylebook, page 17. And, to my former students who work at The Northern Light, shame. You above all should have known better.
Elizabeth Hedgepeth,
UAA Adjunct Professor,
Anchorage

Praise for extended tuition deadline
Kudos to UAA for extending the deadline for students to pay their tuition. By extending the deadline, UAA has shown that bureaucracy can be flexible. I for one was able to pay my tuition with my PFD. And while it does hurt to dedicate a huge portion of my PFD to school, at least it is not plus a $100 fine.
John Roberson III,
Anchorage