Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino halted a public speech Wednesday night at UW-Platteville and switched the venue to a Catholic student center after a reporter in the audience refused to leave.Read more: http://host.madison.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/religion/in-the-spirit-bishop-robert-morlino-halts-speech-changes-venue/article_3de51d46-7d92-58ad-b048-ba596d92cdaf.html#ixzz3JiTNc49R
The bishop's action followed the appearance at the event of nine protesters opposed to his leadership. They demonstrated with signs outside Doudna Hall, the site of the lecture, and some filed into the hall to hear Morlino speak.
During the opening minutes of the talk -- titled "Why Does Evil Exist?" -- Morlino asked that no unauthorized photos be taken or recordings made after hearing the clicks of a camera, said Brent King, a spokesman for the Madison Catholic Diocese, which includes Platteville.
This is not a request Morlino typically makes, King said, but he felt it was necessary because he was aware of people in the audience with an apparent desire to stir up controversy. Also, the reporter in attendance, later identified as Steve Prestegard, editor of the Platteville Journal, was taking photos, which the bishop found distracting, King said.
Erickson does a great job on this article. Definitely go read the rest of the story there. There's a long, emotional history in Platteville. I've seen reporters get belligerent at other events; they are an emotional group. Some say elitist, well maybe, probably more so at the editor level. I tend to think it's more that they get passionate about stuff and it can make them unreasonable. The best reporters are those who can find a balance and report with a clear head. It's not easy, I know. I have a lot to learn in that regard.
The takeaway for the students attending the event (hint: it's not exactly increasing confidence in the reporting capabilities of the Platteville Journal).
UW-Platteville senior Lucas Klosiewski, 22, secretary of the Catholic student center, said Morlino was right to be wary of the press.If the Platteville Journal does issue an apology, let me know and I'll post it. I won't hold my breath though.
"I think most of the people in the audience were students, and we were there to learn," he said. "The reporter added kind of a negative vibe. It's pretty commonly known that the media can really talk negatively about certain things."