Monday, October 02, 2006

Interesting observation about Letter to the Editor policy of various local publications

All newspapers have a policy in place to handle Letters to the Editor. The main focus of these policies is to ensure that the person whose name appears at the bottom of each letter is actually the person who wrote the letter...

My letters and editorials are published in a several local publications...

I am RARELY called and asked if I wrote the letter that was submitted... Very Rarely.

I would guess that 90% of the letters that I write that are published are NEVER confirmed by the newspaper.

I think there are two reasons for this:
1. I submit a fair number of letters. I imagine that the people receiving them know my writing style and know my likely stance on most issues.
2. My email address is Mike.Sylvester@Verizon.net. I always submit my letters by email. It would seem logical that Mike Sylvester wrote any letters that were sent from the above address...

There is one major exception to my Letters... The JG ALWAYS confirms my letters...

Hm...

Mike Sylvester

3 comments:

Tim Zank said...

They have ALWAYS called and verified mine too. I'm sure they subscribe to the "better safe than sorry" policy.

Mike Kole said...

I probably get a 25% follow-up call from the paper. A handful of papers call every single time. Most seem to be spotty in their follow-through.

My email address also contains my name, so after an editor has received about ten of my letters, they get to know it's me. It would be easy enough to open a hotmail account with anyone's name and submit letters purporting to be someone, so I am grateful when they do check.

Robert Enders said...

Because you, Mike Kole, and I all have become public figures in that we all have run for office this year, that changes a few things. For instance, it is now a great deal harder for you to sue a newspaper for libel. For someone who is not famous, the newspaper has to be negligent. For you and I, the paper must have malicious intent.

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