When I saw this headline this morning, I thought, "What an opportunity! I can write a blog item extending and reinforcing the point about editorial independence that I made yesterday."
Basically, yesterday I had an exchange with a reader that gave me the opportunity to explain the separation between editorial and advertising. I would have mentioned that editorial is just as separate from news, but that wasn’t the subject at hand. Then, lo and behold, the newsroom provides a supreme example of that this morning.
Sheesh. You just can’t win. All right, here’s a primer on how this newspaper works:
News and editorial are as separate as advertising and editorial. When I see a headline I don’t like, I’ve got less ability to do anything about it than you, the reader. You can hoot and holler and write an angry letter. I turn away and tend to my own business, because I’m not supposed to influence, or even try to influence, news decisions.
Am I complaining about that? No. Because just as I don’t try to run their business, they don’t try to run mine.
I really don’t see why some readers have trouble understanding this. Most readers seem to think it would be awful for the news to be reported to fit our editorial position, and our most vehement critics are often those who believe that line is being crossed.
Yet now I have readers criticizing us because we DON’T cross that line, or the other line between us and advertising. Oh, well. I learned long ago that different people want different things from a newspaper.
Any other questions?