Thursday, November 04, 2004

On letters and credibility

Minor correction and clarification: election letters page is still online, your correspondent is a moron. However, it's still true that once they scroll off that page, they can only be found by keyword search.

Added Nov.15, incorrect statement regarding availability of election letters 'by date':
from editor's Sept 4 column New election letters policy launched:
All election letters - including those that appear in print - will be found online easily online, either by date or through a word search.

Here's what happened to JD's missing "oust publisher" letter to the editor (JD email:"They deny deep sixing it...I checked every day and never saw it."...[RS]:"even though your letter calling on him to be fired had been published on The Union's web site Dec. 2"):

It got published online on Oct 2, and is available here.

But guess what? It wasn't published in the newspaper. It was only published online, since it's an Election Letter.

JD probably thought his letter was about firing the publisher; it mentioned no candidates. But no, since he used the word "elections" ("gross attempts to dictate the winners in supervisorial elections are just the latest in this pseudo-journalist’s demagoguery.") it is an election letter.

So the letter presumably got published on the [no longer extant] "Election letters" page of The Union's website, from whence the letters would scroll off the page and into invisibility after a couple of days (as described here). At this point, no, you cannot find them by browsing, or by using the Archives' "Search for a specific date" (other letters will show up, but not yours) - no, you have to "Search by Keyword". Yes, the same "Search by Keyword" that's silently defective in finding older articles.

Informing the readers is a priority. But which priority is it?

It certainly didn't help The Union get good PR.

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