The Corner

Jonah’s Right

I’m glad to know that my stuff will once again

by sharing journalistic space with Jonah’s, once we start running his column

in the Dallas Morning News (I wish we could have him on our

blog too). Pay close attention to

what he said about letting your local editors know what you think of his, or

anybody else’s, column. I’m on the editorial board of the DMN, and we do pay

attention to letters from readers. I can’t tell you how discouraging it is

to hear from readers who complain about liberal bias, but then when you ask

if they’ve written a serious, substantive letter to the paper’s editor, or

editors, outlining their concerns and making suggestions for changes that

would bring about more balanced opinion coverage, they say no. There are

editors (I work for one) who really do want to provide a more fair and

balanced selection of columnists and opinion writing to the readership, and

when they make a good call (like picking up Jonah’s column, or Rich’s), then

by all means write them and let them know!

A Corner reader in Denver sent me this

column today, in which a conservative talk radio host

laments the left-wing uniformity of his town’s features columnists. The

reader wanted to know what could be done to rectify this kind of situation.

My suggestion is to get the e-mail addresses of the following people: the

paper’s publisher, editor-in-chief, and editor of the section that concerns

you (and pass them on to your friends). Write a polite, funny, well-informed

and well-documented letter explaining what you think the problem is, and

what you’d like them to do to be more responsive to the readership. Be sure

to include lists of your favorite columnists, and why you find those writers

interesting. Don’t just assume that your local newspaper hierarchy is filled

with liberal jerks who won’t listen to you. They may be, in which case you

have my permission to go t.p. their house. But it’s better to try reason and

persuasion first, rather than just sitting back and whining.

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