Dealing with the Press

From: John Lawson <>
Date: Tue Oct 28 11:38:16 2003

  HI Evan - thanks for the measured response.

  I dont' think anyone was actually "attacking" your profession - and of
course Journalism is not only a Porfession, it is one of the bulwarks of
Democracy all over the world - a free press goes with a free people.

  Ok - Red/White/Blue soapbox - pretty K3WL, no?

  Speaking as a one-time (amateur) jounnalist - I published, by hand, by
myself, the base newspaper for the Army unit I was attached to for a
year or so, and I have many articles and papers published, including
ongoing columns in magazines... but mainly speaking as a Consumer of the
journalistic profession, in that I have been interviewed in print and
video meida many, many times... it has been my personal experience, that,
notwithstanding my efforts to simplfy, concretize, and present material in
the format that I know it will be reproduced in (IE using my own small
journalist-type experience) - still the majority of those pieces contained
errors ranging from poor-detail-grasp to gross distortions of an
incomprehensible nature - as if the reporter talked with me, wrote down
(and sometimes recorded our conversation) and then got completely
falling-down wasted before filing the copy - I dunno. I have a laot of
them clipped - I'll show ya sometime.

  Even the magazine articles I wrote, though the editor was a
technically-oriented person - and we proofread zealously - 'things' would
just happen - paragraphs would get out of order - he'd paraphrase me when
he had no idea what he was talking about (I'm not commmenting on his
language or orthography skills here)...

  So my experiences over the last twenty years boils down to: "They always
get something wrong" and it's heartbreaking when you're trying to do
something good, like promote our endeavors with classic computers, and
your own words get 'processed' and the resulting article conveys something
utterly alien to what you meant.

 Of course, maybe you could ask for a retraction, but... it's too late at
that point, and the issues I generally deal with do not warrant such.

  I am sorry you took offense - and I was one of the first responders to
the original message, and I *knew* I was probably going to offend the
several of us who work in the field - but my intention was to try and
convey to someone who had no experience with these matters, the best way
to handle an interview of that kind. I was afraid, as well, that the
subtext of the original poster's interview was going to be 'ridicule the
wacko' instead of 'promote the preservation of legacy computing'

  All this of course is just my 200 millidollar

  Cheers (and again, thanks!)

Received on Tue Oct 28 2003 - 11:38:16 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:36:23 BST