The San Francisco Chronicle is posting voicemails from readers in podcast form. Check out this example from a caller who is angry about the way the paper describes drone aircraft. He wants to know why the “sub-editors” aren’t doing a better job.
I would get such calls in my days on the wire desk at The News & Observer. Story play was more often a topic than word choices, but some conversations included both. Some common subjects and themes:
- the Mideast and how the N&O was favoring Israel or how it was favoring the Palestinians;
- Iraq and how the N&O was cheerleading the war or how it was covering up the real progress there;
- anything to do with John Kerry or Bill Clinton.
I was always happy to talk with a reader, but not be talked at. Some brought up legitimate issues; others didn’t. I also got the idea that some of these callers weren’t so much angry as lonely. And they knew someone would always pick up the phone in the newsroom.
UPDATE: Some wonder whether the Chronicle call was legitimate. Is there a “Simpsons” connection?