Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Trib's reader advocate

A while back, this exchange occurred between one of us and a sibling:

"Did you read the Reader Advocate column this morning?"

"I don't read her any more. All she does is tell people to f--- off."


Turns out we weren't the only ones with that perception. This morning, Connie Coyne's column addressed a reader's concern that she is insensitive to reader concerns. Did we say addressed? Well, more like blew off. She's not a shill for the Trib, she said. All reader advocates are accused of bias, she said, backing up her theory with sympathetic quotes from counterparts at other papers. Not true, we think. We both felt that her predecessor was open minded, even when we didn't agree with her conclusions.

You know what would have been nice? Stats. One thing we like about the advocate's column are the numbers ("5,889 readers complained about the sticky ads this week," that kind of thing). How about a comparison of the column inches devoted to explaining why concerns are legitimate vs. those explaining why they're not? Perhaps it's a misperception, but Coyne's tone seems rather dismissive of lay readers at times. It may be unavoidable in today's environment that "World Ending Tomorrow" is bumped to A12 by "Local Girl Has Cute Bunny," but at least acknowledge why reasonable readers are troubled by that before telling them that they're wrong.

"I listen to all the complaints, but I draw the line at dignifying some stuff - UFO reports, anger because someone's husband was arrested and the story was in the paper or vitriolic racist rants - by talking about them in a column," she wrote. It's not what we don't see in the column that bothers us; it's what we do see. It makes sense to reserve column space for more important issues (although an occasional week-in-the-life would give us a better understanding of the job). Ironically, the very fact that the advocate writes about an issue probably means that she deems it to be legitimate. We would just prefer that recognition to be less subtle.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree, great column. One note, however: Those numbers that you actually find yourself enjoying? Bogus.

Voice of Utah said...

Say it ain't so...

Anonymous said...

For the quintessential pandora sale Indian bride, the perfect pandora jewellery uk Indian bridal jewelry enhances her looks as much as her make-up does. Her beauty as the blushing bride is amplified not only by the pandora shop kohl around her eyes pandora 2010 and the different hues on her eyelids but also by the eye-catching Indian bridal jewelry that adorns her entire person, from head to toe.Although much of pandora jewelry the Indian bridal jewelry an Indian bride could wear is dependent on the new pandora beads size of her budget, she usually sees to it that she is bedecked with the pandora bead most lavish ones that she could lay her hands on. This is actually part of her presenting herself not only to her husband but also to the public. Because of pandora beads sale this, an Indian bride would want her Indian bridal jewelry custom-designed.An Indian bride would have her Indian bridal jewelry made, based on her wedding pandora glass beads trousseau, especially on its dominant colors. The type of precious metals and stones that will be used in making the jewelry should blend with the colors of pandora style beads her wardrobe.Indian bridal jewelry is not just one piece of jewelry worn by the Indian bride.