Monday, August 23, 2010

Wiederaenders: Courier is working to catch 'mythtakes'

Tim responds to a reader complaining about "letters to the editor that present 'facts' as 'truth'," implying that he intends to fact-check such letters and do something unspecified about them. He tangents into a comment on "policing the online comments," citing "libel" and "fighting words."

"Have we made 'mythtakes'? Of course," he admits, but then shows that he doesn't really understand what that means, defending himself with, "There's always another side to the story, folks." No Tim, there are sides to a story, but not to facts -- facts don't take sides. "Fact" is the value the reader (and I!) want you to uphold separate from opinion, slant, analysis, dogma and human interest. You missed the point, and with your cute and folksy stylings you denigrate your own integrity.

I also notice painfully that you're willing to step up in response to criticism of letter and anonymous comment writers, who have no impact on the value of your product, but not the more serious criticism of the Courier's own myth-propagation and failures to fact-check. A regular and serious ombudsman's column, along with policy enforcement in response to it and real change, will go a long way to repairing the Courier's awful reputation and giving it a chance of survival in a future that's all about trust.


Anonymous said...

You're complaining about Tim, after bitching about them spelling your name wrong but you cannot even spell Tim's name right!!! Give it all a rest, Stevie.

Steven Ayres said...

Thanks for pointing that out. He's got a tough name to remember, no doubt.

BTW, O bravely anonymous Courier employee, It's boringly typical of small-timers to ignore the point and attack the person like this. If you want a rest from me, don't read me. It's so easy.