Tuesday, February 18



Value judgment


I am truly incensed to find a front page article about the
automobile accident that ended former UCLA track star Benjamin
"Benny" Brown’s life at age 40 ("Community mourns loss of former
UCLA track star," Feb. 9).

Just last week, I entered the Daily Bruin office to ask if they
were doing an article about the murder of my friend, Thien Minh Ly,
a 1994 UCLA graduate. The news staff told me the story was not
relevant enough because he was an alumnus.

Determined to let everyone at UCLA know about the tragedy that
ended Ly’s life at age 24, I submitted a piece about his death to

Had it not been for the viewpoint I submitted, the UCLA
community might not have known about Ly’s death. I know some UCLA
students who found out about Ly’s death from the L.A. Times instead
of The Bruin. I am sure that even today, some of Ly’s UCLA
acquaintances do not know of his death because Daily Bruin News did
not run an article about it.

I question the judgment of the Daily Bruin news staff in NOT
printing an article about Ly, but printing one about Benjamin

Brown is at best remembered by old faculty; I’m sure none of the
students at UCLA knew him personally or knew of his achievements at
UCLA as an undergraduate in the 1970s.

Ly, on the other hand, had many friends who are still at UCLA
who deserved to know about his death so that they could pay their
respects and mourn his loss accordingly.

Furthermore, Brown died at age 40 in a car accident. Ly was
murdered at age 24 – his whole life extinguished brutally and

Which news was more pertinent to the UCLA community? How many
UCLA students and faculty would have benefited from the knowledge
of a very recent UCLA graduate’s death, as opposed to a 1970s
graduate’s death?

Ly’s death, the circumstances involved therein and his lifetime
accomplishments were emblazoned across Orange County’s newspapers
all last week, but did not prove "newsworthy" to the Daily

In addition, I’ve read several articles in the last weeks about
Huong Nguyen’s predicament as a bisexual cadet in the ROTC. Yet,
the Daily Bruin could not print one short article about Ly’s

I ask that you please reassess the determinants used in deeming
what is relevant "news" to be published in your paper. Your failure
to publish anything about Ly’s death (apart from the viewpoint I
submitted) makes you an unreliable news source to the UCLA

Mai Pham


English and biologyComments to [email protected]

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