Unfair portrayal

Oct 252010
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

A Sunday Coloradoan article brought the Collegian Editorial Board to its knees Monday in intense debate.

The article “Fueled by liquor, downtown Fort Collins has ugly side after dark” chronicles a reporter and photographer’s 12-hour stint in Old Town. The piece says the area’s nightlife is plagued by fight obsessed young people who only generate “rivers of urine,” litter and stroll the streets, open containers in hand.

In its 2,762 words, the article combines factual occurrence and observation with editorialized language, asserting that its purpose is to expose a part of Fort Collins culture “most Coloradoan readers will never experience.”

Merits and shortcomings of the article aside, the tone used throughout doesn’t paint an accurate portrait of Old Town culture and implies that young people are the root cause of the city’s shenanigans.

On an arbitrary Saturday featured in the article, Fort Collins Police Services issued 17 citations for “violations ranging from littering and harassment to drunkenness, open containers and the delicately titled ‘bodily waste.’” Is 17, out of the thousands who frequent the downtown area, an accurate representation?

We’re not saying that FCPS shouldn’t rein in the unruly, drunken fools who disrupt what is a good time for many, not to mention an economic boost for the city. By all means, arrest away.

In fact, we laud the city for its establishment of Downtown After Dark, a collaboration of university and city agencies and organizations seeking to improve the climate and safety of downtown.

What is not clear is why the city and its residents continue to label young people on the whole as a rowdy disruption to Fort Collins life.

Don’t read the Coloradoan’s article and assume that its content is representative of a majority. While there is truth, there is also distortion.

 Posted by at 4:47 pm

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