Editor’s Note: Following is a statement that GradyNewsource reporter Joshua Buce made, regarding his altercation with the publisher of the Red and Black, Harry Montivideo. The editorial faculty reviewed and discussed the remarks with the student beforehand, but they did not direct him on what to say.
Over the weekend, I have been contacted from numerous media outlets asking whether or not I intend to press charges. After consulting with my family, I have made the decision that I will not be pressing charges against Mr. Montevideo. I take all that has happened as an absolutely invaluable learning experience. My family and friends could not be any prouder of my actions. This situation has solidified my belief that good journalism comes at a great cost. However, I do hope Mr. Montevideo understands that becoming physical with a student or any other person is never acceptable. It most certainly is not professional.
I have to admit the entire experience seems surreal and left me feeling shocked. I have read through Montevideo’s apology and must admit that I am disappointed. I found his apology to be somewhat backhanded. His statements do not describe the incident accurately. In the video released by Grady Newsource, I can be heard saying, “excuse me” while being escorted out of the newsroom by Mr. Montevideo. On my way to the exit, he told me several times that I needed to leave and demanded that the camera be shut off. He then reached for my camera while forcibly applying pressure on the back of my neck. The released Grady Newsource video, witness accounts, and pictures are substantial enough for the public to draw their own conclusions. In his apology letter, he states, “It was inappropriate and unfair to the students to have the media cover that event.” From what I understand, these students are journalists. As well, many of these students have worked for The Red and Black and/or The Red and Dead. It is my understanding that they are reporters and are considered media as well.
As a student for The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, I have always been treated as a professional and with respect. I have been taught that journalism is a public service to the community. It requires passion and determination in order to discover stories and accurately portray them to the public. That is my intention when reporting on the field and in the newsroom.