Getting catty over Kitty & other stuff!
Daily, we at the Chronicle, and our sister titles The Journal and Sunday Sun, fight for you, our readers, and the region.
For 126 years the Chronicle has a proud tradition of taking up the cudgels on your behalf.
Why, only this week, we were urging you to back our Give Them Justice campaign in which we are fighting for compensation for those suffering through working with asbestos.
Which is why I feel some attacks on us are gratuitous.
One recently landed in the editor's in-box, the points raised were without merit and for space reasons I don't intend to repeat them here. What I will say, is the author used lots of CAPITALS, as if shouting at us!
What I will reproduce though is the boss's response, because a. it perfectly illustrates our position, and b. you'll get a picture of just how scary he is!
Anyway, here goes: "Dear Sir, Thank you for your letter, I will deal with the points in order.
"The Chronicle and its sister newspapers are produced by reporters based in Newcastle. We have a proud record of fighting on behalf of the region with numerous campaigns, most recently to keep the Children's Heart Unit at The Freeman.
We are a big employer and continue to be.
"The decision to print at another plant in the North East is based on economics. We make big savings while the quality of the newspaper will improve on the more modern press, as well as improving delivery times in shops - lateness is a problem we have encountered too often in recent months.
"I find your comments on the pitch invasion at Darlington surprising.
Yes three people were arrested but many others were involved with more arrests certain to follow. We reported accurately the good nature of the first incursion (though that doesn't make it right) but subsequently it turned violent. We reported accurately eye-witness accounts from fans who were there, our own staff who were there, and statements from people at the club who were there.
"I refute completely the reporting was sensationalist or exaggerated.
"You accuse us of being selective in what we print. We always report both sides of a story, carry views which are critical of us as well as in praise.
"While I take all comments of readers seriously on this occasion I completely disagree with the accusations you level at us."
Ouch! OUR MPs get called all sorts, Gawd bless 'em.
But never has Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell been called anything like the following.
In a story at the start of the week we, for some reason, took to calling Mrs McKinnell Kitty!
Sorry about that My Honourable Friend.
LAST week I mentioned how I'd be mentioning Derek from Blakelaw.
He'd written in castigating our sub editors - how dare he!
"Increasingly in the Chronicle it seems that people are only describable by the fact they have produced children - i.e they are a 'mam' or a 'dad'. A person usually thinks that their parents are special, but, generally, there is nothing unusual in people having fathered, or given birth to, children.
"A paper that can only describe someone as a 'mam' or a 'dad' is severely lacking in descriptive powers and hasn't done sufficient investigation for the article they are writing.
"The practice has spread to your subs, and I refer to the following headline. 'Driver charged over dad's death'. That says to me that a driver has been charged with killing HIS father. The first paragraph of the article clearly states the driver had killed a father. The omission of the indefinite article is clearly a big mistake, but the main problem to me is that the person killed was described as a 'father' and not as an audiovisual engineer or a butcher, baker or candle stick maker. This is the second headline in the past few weeks I've noticed and if your subs continue to take the easy, sloppy option then it will happen again.
"I think you should pull your finger out, earn your money (what, you think they pay me!) and put a stop to this shoddy writing immediately."
Consider it done, Degsy.
AND finally, my thanks got to the Rev Allan Marks of St Ann's in Battlefield, Newcastle. We covered a fair they held, and Mr Marks wrote a charming letter of thanks - no need.
Until next week folks, when I hope to cover the mam, mum, mater or mother debate!
CAT-ASTROPHE Labour MP Catherine McKinnell