Monday, July 16, 2007

And I "Quote"...

To All,

Recently my letter to the editor was published in both the Journal Gazette and News Sentinel. I find it very interesting that the newspapers will edit the letters that we send in. I think I much prefer getting peoples opinions from blogs online because it is EXACTLY what they said, misspellings, bad grammar, bad punctuation and all.

For the record I want to publish here the exact wording of what was sent in to the local media. In this way you will all see what I wanted to say:

" In the July 1st edition of the Journal Gazette’s Political Notebook it was insinuated the Libertarian Party was “protecting” Mitch Harper in the 4th district by not running a Libertarian candidate. This was allegedly due to his speaking at our convention.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. I tried to convince one of our active members who lives in the fourth district to run. As he and his wife just adopted a little girl he decided to dedicate his time to her rather than politics. I hope in four years there will be a Libertarian candidate for the fourth district.
The Libertarian Party is a small party. We are growing thanks to our incumbents regrettable waste of taxpayer dollars. Four years ago Libertarians didn’t run anyone for local office. This year we are running a nearly full slate of candidates for City Council. We will try to run for more positions next time. We want to give our neighbors the opportunity to vote for candidates who believe in smaller government, lowering property taxes and protecting our property rights and civil liberties.
I invite everyone interested to contact me or visit our website at www.allencountyLP.org.
The status quo of politics in Allen County has ended. We are here to stay and we will give our neighbors a choice.

Respectfully,


Doug Horner
Secretary, LPAC
Candidate for City Council at Large
(260) 704 – 4698"

In reviewing what was published the Journal did the greatest amount of editing. In the Sentinel the only thing they removed was my phone number.

It is interesting that in the Journal they removed the fact that I am an candidate (they only published my position within the party).

Is any of this critical to the intent of my letter? The short answer is "no". However, in the grand scheme of things it does make me wonder about every time I read an editorial I will have to question whether the person writing it is really as "off" or "on" the mark as I believe him/her to be OR did the paper edit them into being that way???

My letter in the Journal was published July 12th and in the Sentinel on July 13th. Who knows, maybe Friday the 13th was just my lucky day for them to get it right?

Respectfully,

Doug Horner
Candidate, City Council at Large

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is not unusual for the newspapers to edit letters to the editor. It is not unusual for the newspapers to change the meaning of letters to the editor. It has happened before.

Kody Tinnel said...

Doug:

That was very well written.

Leo Morris said...

On blogs, there is unlimited space. We don't have that luxury on the editorial page, so we have to impose length limits. Our top goal, at least at The News-Sentinel, is not to change the meaning of the letter when we edit it, and I hope we succeed at that. We also try to leave in what we think is the writer's most important point in support of the position expressed, but we probably succed at that less often.

Something else you might find interesting is that we edit letters differently than the stuff we write ourselves, with a little bit of a lighter touch. We correct misspellings and major grammatical mistakes, but we leave the minor stuff alone, to preserve the writer's individuality and not make it seem like all our letter writers graduated from the same liberal arts college.

Jennifer Jeffrey, Chair LPAC said...

Thank you for your input!

We truly appreciate hearing how it works from your point of view.

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

To All,

I'd like to comment on several of the responses here:

Anonymous: I agree with you that this phenomenon is not uncommon. What I was simply trying to point out is that I don't know if the general public understands this, or at least appreciates the regularity with which it occurs.

Kody: Thanks. I tried to be as succinct as possible and still get my point across.

Mr. Morris: I appreciate your response as it seems reasonable and quite understandable. However, I still cannot help but wonder when I read someone else's letter if they are as "off track" or "dead on" as I perceive them to be. The slightest correction, no matter how well intentioned, can have grave consequences.

No doubt you would agree that many an argument has been made of the placement of a single comma in the second amendment?

I do not dispute your need to adjust the size of the letter, I simply wonder at how many people may not grasp the notion that the authors original letter and what they are seeing may be two different things.

I am very thankful for a forum such as the internet provides to allow the curious to find, seek, compare, and come to their own conclusions.

Respectfully,

Doug Horner