Most people can understand the emotional attachment alumni and students feel to the name Golden Gaels. However, from an outside perspective it may not be as obvious why a neutral journalist should give it much thought. Except that it's another example of the PR industry exerting control and the weak willed media just rolling over and taking it.
As a reminder, it was a journalist that put the Golden on there in the first place. But, that was a different time. A golden time for the craft, even. So, it's terribly sad to see the very paper that was responsible for the name, the once influential Kingston Whig-Standard, so completely capitulating to the whims of some Sports Information Officer. Why? What benefit is it to the public for the media to take its marching orders from a PR flack?
Yes, this ultimately is a frivolous issue. It's just a sports team's name. But, it speaks to a larger issue. The PR industry's need to control everything. And the media's lack of a backbone to stand up to it. The loser in all this? The public. People can talk about hidden MSM agendas all they want, but the PR industry doesn't hide what its trying to do. And, its only interest is to its client.
Again, in a time when kids from this country are dying in Afghanistan almost every day, this hardly matters. Except it does. If the media rolls over for something this minor, what is it going to do when the stakes are higher? Anyone that read a newspaper in the United States in the lead up to the war in Iraq might have an idea.
As someone that is passionate about journalism I believe that it is time to take a stand. It's time to take back the craft and to stop letting the flacks control the conversation. And, as someone that is passionate about CIS sport, this issue is the perfect battleground.
It's a small battle, yes, but the only way to regain control of the dissemination of information is to grab it back bit by bit by bit.