What NCEW members said about Jeff Jarvis.
JANE NICHOLES, Press-Register in Mobile, Alabama: Is it standard practice in blogging to release in advance what you were asked to submit to a specific publication, just to get a rise out of folks? At many a newspaper, unauthorized leaking of one's copy in advance of publication would be considered a firing offense.
Nor does Mr. Jarvis demonstrate any understanding of the purpose of the op-ed page, letters to the editor, or any other ways in which editorial pages solicit viewpoints other than that presented by the house editorial.
LANNY KELLER, The Advocate in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge (băt`ən rzh) [Fr.,=red stick], city (1990 pop. 219,531), state capital and seat of East Baton Rouge parish, SE La. : For most of us at smaller places, the virtue of the local editorial board is obvious, We're contributing, at least in theory, insights and long-term thinking that towns desperately need and have few independent sources for.
If you're blogging about Iraq, that's one thing. But Lanny writing a blog about a local issue really doesn't have the impact that the editorial page of my local paper has.
Another point I've made before: the editorial board, the editorial "we," is something of an antidote to chain ownership. It should be able to filter through a community-oriented and longer-term perspective the views of a chain publisher who is parachuted in after a stellar service as deputy circulation director of USA Today USA Today
National U.S. daily general-interest newspaper, the first of its kind. Launched in 1982 by Allen Neuharth, head of the Gannett newspaper chain, it reached a circulation of one million within a year and surpassed two million in the 1990s. .
A. BARTON HINKLE, Richmond Times-Dispatch The Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD or TD for short) is the primary daily newspaper in Richmond, Virginia the capital of Virginia, and is commonly considered the "newspaper of record" for events occurring in much of the state. in Virginia: The suggestion that newspapers should "join the conversation" is also hugely amusing. Long before blogs took off, newspapers were providing a forum for a continuing dialogue about the issues of the day--and gave voice to the many men and women in the street who often had no other place in which to make their voices heard. It's absolutely wonderful that the Internet has opened up another venue, and I blog myself at http://barticles.mytimes dispatch.com/. But telling newspapers to join the conversation is rather like telling the Pope he should join some kind of church.
CHRIS SIVULA, Tri-City Herald The Tri-City Herald is a daily newspaper based in Kennewick, Washington, in the United States. Owned by The McClatchy Company, the newspaper serves southeastern Washington, including the Tri-Cities, as well as far south as Hermiston, Oregon. , Tri-Cities, Washington The Tri-Cities is an area of the state of Washington that is made up of three neighboring cities: Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, and is ranked as the 191st most populous metropolitan area of the U.S. : It's perilous to dismiss Jarvis's view without giving some serious thought to what he's saying. It's clear from the online responses to his (essay) that a lot of people are confused about what we do and don't clearly see the value our pages bring to our communities. We need to find ways to help more readers understand why editorial pages remain a critical part of American life.
RICK HOLMES, The MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, Massachusetts Framingham is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the population was 66,910, making it the most populous town in New England. The 2005 population estimate is 65,598. : It seems to me, asking "Who cares what newspaper editorial writers think?" is akin to asking "Who cares what bloggers think?" An editorial is just another dollop of opinion--why try to de-legitimize it? Yes, it's unsigned, as are many blogs, and most comments on blogs, but the editorial page editor and, by extension, the ownership and management of the newspaper, take responsibility for it. That bestows a limited amount of credibility on it, but it doesn't require any reader to agree or even pay attention.
As for the suggestion that editorialists make room for other voices, who do you think fills the rest of the opinion pages with letters and columns?
Editorial page editors (like me) take our responsibilities as forum facilitators as seriously as our own opinions. Most bloggers feel no obligation to make room on their sites for diverse opinions. Editorial page editors do.
For those who wish editorial writers would just go away, consider it granted. Look beyond the major metros to the small-town dailies and weeklies. They've been dropping their editorials, and their editorial pages, for the last twenty-five years. Some still carry letters to the editor, but the days when a knowledgeable respected journalist, with a long-running commitment to the community, could call the mayor or school board or county commission on the carpet for corruption or stupidity with an authority greater than a lone citizen sounding off to his e-mail list are, in most places, long past.
Editorials, editorialists, and editorial pages are already dying, early victims of the withering of the newspaper industry. Feel better?
(Editor's note Editor's Note (foaled in 1993 in Kentucky) is an American thoroughbred Stallion racehorse. He was sired by 1992 U.S. Champion 2 YO Colt Forty Niner, who in turn was a son of Champion sire Mr. Prospector and out of the mare, Beware Of The Cat.
Trained by D. : Rick's commentary on Jarvis's opinion piece first appeared on buzzmachine.com)
ROB BIGNELL, The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California Palm Springs is a famed Riverside County, California desert resort city, approximately 110 miles (177 km) east of Los Angeles and 140 miles (225 km) northeast of San Diego. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 42,807. : An infinite number infinite number
a number so large as to be uncountable. Represented by 8, frequently obtained by 'dividing' by zero. of monkeys typing on an infinite number of word processors would come up with the exact same uninformed and ill-reasoned blog entry as Jeff Jarvis Jeff Jarvis (born September 12, 1954) is an American journalist. He is the former television critic for TV Guide and People magazine, creator of Entertainment Weekly, Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News, .
DOUG FLOYD, The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington Spokane (pronounced [spoʊ̯ˈkæn]) is a city located in Eastern Washington. The seat of Spokane County, Spokane is the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest, the second largest city in Washington state, and : If editorial writers are undermining newspaper credibility, why is it that so many readers register their criticism by saying we should keep opinion out of the news columns and on the editorial page "where it belongs"?
MATT NEISTEIN, The Post-Crescent in Appleton, Wisconsin Appleton is a city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, on the Fox River, 100 miles (161 km) north of Milwaukee. As of the 2005 census estimate, the city had a total population of 70,217. : I think the easy dismissal of what Jarvis is saying is Exhibit A in his defense. In particular, this line should resonate with us: "Embrace new voices and viewpoints. Listen before lecturing."
I agree that we have long invited other viewpoints to our pages via letters, op-eds, etc. But we would be wise to apply the aforementioned advice to ourselves. The most important single sentence in that [essay] is this: "But today, we do not trust institutions."
Nearly every response I've seen on the listserv uses, at its core, the defense that newspapers are the institutional voice. But Jarvis is right. People don't believe in institutions anymore, newspapers or otherwise. Every six months or so, I hear about another poll where journalists rank just ahead of lawyers and just behind used-car salesmen on the trustworthiness scale.
Skepticism reigns. The corporatization Corporatization is a more precise term for what often is called privatization, for it almost always refers to a process by which formerly public assets or functions are sold or given to corporate entities. of newspapers doesn't help anymore, either. Publishers are transferred around, the company touts its ownership, and readers don't identify with their papers anymore, as they're not locally owned or operated and the face of the paper has only lived there for a couple of years.
Call it cynicism or apathy in our readers, or just plain ignorance, if you're feeling particularly chipper chipper Drug slang An occasional user of illicit drugs. See Recreational drug use Tobacco A popular term for a person who smokes < 5 cigarettes/day, who may be resistant to nicotine dependence or addiction, and often born to non-smoking parents. . But you take any one of us off the editorial page with its gaudy masthead mast·head
1. Nautical The top of a mast.
2. The listing in a newspaper or periodical of information about its staff, operation, and circulation.
3. that says "Community Newspaper, est. 185-whatever," and we're just bloggers. Bloggers with journalism training and experience, but bloggers nonetheless. And since that masthead is no longer held with the esteem it once was--through our fault or others'--using it as the trump card in this discussion may only reinforce Jarvis's point that we're out of touch and elitist e·lit·ism or é·lit·ism
1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources. .
GORDON WINTERS, Lincoln Star Journal in Nebraska: I've been following this discussion with interest, but I may have to stop. I find myself agreeing with so many divergent and even contradictory views that I'm worried that my head may explode.
MARK C. MAHONEY, The Post-Star in Glens Falls, New York Glens Falls is a city in Warren County, New York, United States. It is part of the Glens Falls, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 14,354 at the 2000 census. The name is derived from the large waterfall in the Hudson River at the southern base of the city. : What this whole discussion reminds us is that we have a continued obligation to contribute to the public discourse by analyzing problems; providing sound, fair criticism; offering up possible solutions; and encouraging citizens to get involved.
As long as we do that, we won't have to worry about the threat of bloggers, and we will continue to be a valuable resource for our readers.