Sunday, December 14, 2008

Memo to News-Leader: Your readers are intelligent

Upcoming changes in the Springfield News-Leader are explained in a column by Executive Editor Don Wyatt in today's newspaper, and that is a good thing.

However, while it is always worthwhile to speak frankly with readers about changes that are going to affect them, it is not a good thing to speak down to them. And that is exactly what the News-Leader does: While explaining the reason for eliminating sections of the newspaper, this unfortunate passage is included:

You may be surprised to learn that as a business, the News-Leader's two largest expenses are newsprint and employees.

I find it doubtful that the News-Leader's readers were surprised by this information. Employees are always at the top of the ladder as far as expenses are concerned and reasonably intelligent readers know that it takes a lot of newsprint to put out a newspaper.

Later in the column, it is mentioned that out of the personnel cuts that were recently made, only one writing position was eliminated. Nowhere is it mentioned that the position belonged to 22-year veteran Sarah Overstreet, whose backlog of columns is still being shamelessly promoted on the News-Leader website as this is written.

No comments: