A tip for those considering a career in journalism: If you have panic attacks when someone disagrees with you or says something mean about you, consider another path.
(As an aside, that applies to politicians, too.)
I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to your readers, but letting their criticism dictate your self-confidence is sure to lead to failure, sleepless nights and ulcers.
That said, I do listen. So here are some recent complaints from readers, with my response. I am sharing so you can decide for yourselves whether they have a point.
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David Barsalou writes: “As a frequent contributor avid and regular reader of the opinion page, I must say, it has become quite boring, opinion has taken a back seat to reportage, nothing of any substance. Surely, there have been letters submitted opining on the President, ISIS, Ebola, and God knows what else. … I think your readers have opinions on many pressing issues, yes some of them are controversial, but choosing to not discuss/argue these differences of opinion does little to advance the issue.”
I feel as if I’ve edited and published many letters on these topics recently, or at least before and after the mid-terms when endorsement letters began to rule the day. I run most letters I receive, unless they are glaringly inaccurate, mean-spirited or racist. But perceptions are reality, so let me know what you think.
Cliff Strommen wrote last week about the news of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s video comments and our failure to give that news the play it deserved.
The Associated Press reported: “The videos show MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, an adviser in the law's drafting, saying that ‘the stupidity of the American voter’ helped Democrats pass the complex legislation.”
Although The Sun News has since published coverage of his comments in print, including a Cal Thomas op-ed column on Sunday, Mr. Strommen is right. We should have given it bigger play when it broke.
Those who read our news offerings online, of course, could find coverage of the controversy and the reactions to it.
I know, I know, many of you only read the print edition, and we thank you for that. But as journalism continues its evolution into the digital age, more detail on more issues will be found only online.
The size of the print edition, as I’ve noted before, is determined by how many ads are sold for its pages. The space for content, and advertising, is unlimited in the online universe.
Community Christmas spirit
The Sun News is once again participating in the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program. In addition to a tree for employee participation, we have an Angel Tree located in our lobby for the public.
Those wishing to be an “angel” to a needy local child should simply select an angel from the tree and purchase one or more of the gift suggestions that are provided. Gifts should be unwrapped and the angel information should be taped to the gift for identification purposes. All gifts should be returned to The Sun News no later than Dec. 12.
Our lobby, at 914 Frontage Rd. E. in Myrtle Beach, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Look for additional angel trees throughout the community and help support this wonderful charity effort that brings smiles to so many local children.
Thanks for reading, and for helping the Angel Tree effort if you are so inclined.