Why we’re here

Photo by Jiroe on Unsplash

I quit my job at the Camera yesterday. Here’s why:

You’ll likely remember my tweet from a few weeks ago calling someone an asshole. I offered apologies to said person and the public and I offer them again here: It was unprofessional and wrong of me to use my platform in that way. I apologize.

My former employer and I disagreed on how best to reclaim public faith. They rejected my sincere apologies. I understand their position. I still disagree.

I think you, my community, deserve better than a copy-paste, lawyer-approved apology. (I think I deserve that, too.)

I want to conduct my apology the same way I conducted my beat: by engaging. I respond to my critics (at least the ones who do me the courtesy of letting me know I’m being criticized). I engage with them, hear their complaints, explain my position.

I engaged with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, after he sent a public email to city council accusing me of intentionally misrepresenting facts and lacking the intelligence and common sense necessary to be a journalist.

He showed no remorse when I called him. In fact, he recorded the call without my knowledge or consent and played it for city council and, later, my bosses.

It is not my practice to call people who are rude to me mean names on Twitter. People are rude to me without great frequency. 99% of the time, I handle it with grace and good humor. This was my one percent.

I’m willing to take responsibility for my actions, to the point of giving up my job. I just don’t think I should be the only one who is held accountable.

This job is ugly. People are ugly to me, to each other, to city council, to staff. With the recent death of my mother, I lost a sense of who I want to be. I allowed myself to become ugly, too. For that, I am truly and deeply sorry.

Many of the qualities that make me a great journalist also, occasionally, lead me into trouble. My passion for justice. My dedication to truth, no matter how unpleasant. I’ll keep working to temper the less-savory aspects of my personality while remaining true to my mission.

I’ll never get to 100% perfection, but I can certainly do better. I thank you for your support and the opportunity to be part of the fabric of our community.

– Shay Castle
owner, publisher and journalist


0 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I’m sorry to hear that you have left the Daily Camera. I have enjoyed your coverage, witty tweets, and insight. I know it’s little comfort, but in my 47 years I have made plenty of mistakes and paid for some of them, but I always emerged a better person. I know you will land on your feet.

  2. I’m sorry you are no longer with the Camera. I’ll continue to follow you on Twitter and now your blog. Your Council reporting was an amazing public service.

  3. I too have been intemperate on Twitter, and have had to apologize. (And, coincidentally, it was right after I lost my mother.) Some people who saw it felt the need to tell my bosses, and others reached out to ask if I was OK. What I learned is that there are people who will always believe you’re only as good as your last bad act, and there are people who know you’re more than that. And all of us have a last bad act.

    From a complete stranger, thanks for sharing this, and best of luck.

  4. I hate the way the Daily Camera is eating up good people. Have really enjoyed your writing and especially council twitter coverage. Good luck . I’m curious to your thoughts on local news alternatives and what is best for journalists. Should we continue supporting the DC w/out any alternative? Does that at least support some local journalism?

    • Hi, Scott. Apologies for the delay: it’s amazing how busy being unemployed keeps me!
      I’ve given a lot of thought to your question about supporting the Camera. I will give the same answer I gave even while I still worked there: I think it’s absolutely appropriate to keep supporting the Camera. It’s still the only daily source for local news. (I’m here, sure, but I can only cover so much.) Staying informed is too important to abandon completely.

      However, I have always maintained that stopping support of the Camera is justified IF it’s purposeful. I think a coordinated boycott could do some good, or just a strongly worded letter letting them know why you’re cancelling your subscription. After all, they can’t do anything without the information. If they have the information — the “why” of why you’re not supporting them — and they still choose to do nothing, then that’s on them. If you just cancel without giving a reason, that’s on you.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Shay –
    I admire what you did for the Camera – I respected so much your reporting on the demise of the Trustee’s office and you ability to let the world no the facts.

    Hope our paths will cross again

    Until then good luck and never give-in to the crowd mentally, which most people do in life.

    All the best


  6. I think your coverage of City issues was excellent. You stepped in following the departure of Alex Burness, and you were up-to-speed and naming names in no time. Your diligence and perception have made following Boulder’s City issues more bearable – and that says something.

    Your provocateur, on the other hand, has been spoiling for fights for several years, and he was finally able to provoke an intemperate response from you. Yes, you might have demurred, but you’re human and late nights at council don’t foster patience.

    I, for one, wish a way could have been found for you to stay at the Camera. I can’t tell you how many times the Yahoos (credit to Jonathan Swift) in this town have pushed me over the edge. You have already learned from this moment, handling the aftermath with grace and dignity. I hope you will continue to provide us with quality reporting on the City’s critical issues for years to come – where can I hope to find your work in the future? How can I help?

    • Hi, Ed. You can find my work here, on the blog. I just published my customary wrap-up of the meeting. I’ve got a few other tidbits to share, too. I’m also going to put out a council newsletter each week. Hopefully on Friday but this time, probably not until Monday. You can sign up for it here: eepurl.com/gdtRTz. You can help by spreading the word on the newsletter/blog. And by supporting me financially for this work on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/shayshinecastle.

      Finally, you’ve already helped me with your kind words and support during this difficult time. Knowing that people recognize it as a out-of-character mistake (and recognize my very sincere regret) is the proverbial balm of Gilead. Thank you for helping restore my sanity, my faith in others, and faith in myself.

  7. I have really liked your coverage in the Daily Camera and especially your live tweets of City Council. I will follow you here happily. My experience on the Landmarks Board was stark and often sadly eye-opening and I applaud your vigilance and perseverance.

  8. The Daily Camera has shown no integrity in this matter. They sided with the big mouth who was bullying you. Why should I ever trust any of their editorials again? The Camera has not only no integrity it has no courage to stand up for what’s right. You took responsibility for your part. Where is He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named from PLAN-Boulder’s statement taking responsibility for his part? Nowhere. I’m disgusted.

  9. Hey Shay, I am glad you didn’t let leaving the camera keep you from writing. I’m sure we’ll run into each other somehow as long as you ‘re putting yourself out there. You should come by and hear Dr. Otis Moss speak at First Cong next Friday night at 7. I think he is going to bring a call to conscience here. Feel free to check in with me. This is Pedro Silva by the way.

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