Monday, August 15, 2011

Where's the followup?

A longtime reader writes:

Twice I have sent this to the Courier editor for inclusion with no response and once to the high school without reply. I smell one or more rats. I think my questions are responsible. I can’t seem to let this go and see no reason I should. Maybe you have a better idea to gain answers?

What’s going on at Prescott High School?

I read with curiosity an article printed in the Courier July 17th titled “Police, firefighters rescue 2 boys from locked car trunk”. We are fortunate that our public servants arrived at the high school and that the story had a happy ending, though the entire event does raise at least two important unanswered questions:

1.Why were 3 eleven year olds working on a car unsupervised, with know one else around, at the auto shop area on high school grounds, not even during the school year?
2.Whose Cadillac was being worked on, what work was being done and why were eleven year olds doing it?

I believe the first goal of our schools is to provide a safe place for students and faculty alike. What transpired to cause this event? How many hundreds or millions of dollars would the city be turning over to families of victims if the outcome had been much different? I have inquired to the schools principal via mail ten days ago and have received no reply.

Steven Major

Update, Thursday night: Ask and ye shall receive, as Tim promised in the comments.

But wait, what gives? I went back to the original story to check it, and find that the phrase "working on," which I clearly remember and Mr Major quotes above, now reads "playing around." The original version is still on display in the July 18 edition on

Going back to reedit the online edition is an unusual move. I guess this, um, typo was a little more embarrassing than usual.


Tim Wiederaenders said...

Hello: Yes, we have received the letter from Steven Major. It is in the que for approval along with about 100 others. As our policy states, because of the volume of letters we receive it can take a few weeks to see your opinion in print. Presently, there are 60 letters ahead of his. We, however, have not received a call from Mr. Major asking for these explanations. Thank you.

Steven Ayres said...

OK, Tim, but have you considered following up on the questions raised by the original article?

Steven Major said...

Tim Wiederaenders
Thank you for your response. I used to be a short order cook and so appreciate the importance of first come first served. That said, I would think the position of letters in the cue at the Courier would/could/should change daily based on the news worthiness of the letters received. If, for example, the Cadillac being worked on at the high school belonged to a public official, should it not be printed before other letters that had less direct impact on Prescott residents, especially during an election season?
In regards to calling you…I am unsure what calling you would accomplish. The questions I raise are not to satisfy my own curiosity, my questions concern members of the public and behavior on taxpayer funded public property, and therefore require and deserve answers to the public in a public forum (the Courier). I believe my questions are those any sane, caring, responsible journalist would have asked before writing the article that has initiated this conversation.
Thank You,
Steven Major

Tim Wiederaenders said...

The follow-up article will be in Friday's paper.

Steven Ayres said...

Well, I'm glad we got that cleared up!

Steven Major said...

Yet one more reason why every article in the Courier should have the author's name and contact number attached to them. Accountability matters.

Steven Major said...

On further reflection, I am surprised not one of the people who had first hand knowledge of the event, and had read to story in the Courier (likely would or should have) came forward to correct the blatant error. I refer to the police and paramedics, the high school principal, the boys involved and their parents.
It suggests we live in an age where the absence of truth in our news media is so accepted that it generates no concern or response. The Courier made a mistake...we all do. Making mistakes and not caring about mistakes are very different things.

birther t. bagur said...

Leave it to an ethics-free business like the Courier to go back and edit an article after posting and not point out that the original was edited. Doing so shows you respect your readers and is one of the main tenets of not only journalism, but also online ethics. I can only imagine the sockpuppetry that comes out of the place. Is the tradebagger really Tim...or perhaps that old crazy guy who complains that people don't use their real names? Who cares if you use your real name if you are doing shady and sleazy things concurrently?

Steven Major said...

Steven Ayres...Is not time to move on to something else?
Write something.