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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Not all news 'good news'

Sunday, June 22, 2008

So, after a weekend where I managed to see some friends I haven't seen in quite a while, I ventured to the office Sunday afternoon.

While sitting at my desk eating Subway, I noticed a new Letter to the Editor on my desk that must have been dropped off after I left the office Friday.

One bite into my sandwich and I just had to stop eating.

The first sentence of this letter grabbed my attention quite quickly.

The reader that provided the letter was "disappointed" with The Brazil Times after providing an update regarding The Times' online poll.

The poll has been in place since The Times changed its online look. The purpose of the poll is to give readers a voice. Let them speak their opinion, either by voting on the poll or voting and leaving comments regarding the poll question.

One of the recent poll questions appeared to have been disappointing to this reader.

The Times, knowing the Fourth of July celebration (sponsored by Rotary) was coming up, wanted to know if people were looking forward to the celebration.

Readers were given several options regarding the poll.

And, like many, staff members at The Times' office were quite surprised when the majority of the public that voted on the poll were not that interested in the upcoming event.

We found that somewhat disturbing.

Was the purpose of the poll question to create a "negative spin?"?Simply put, no, that was not the intention.

The event was coming up and The Times' wanted to know how people were looking forward to the celebration.

Once again, staffers at The Times' office were shocked (for lack of a better term) that the poll results came out the way they did.

However, the will of the people -- the readers -- is what the poll question is all about.

The online poll gives readers an opportunity to express their opinion regarding area subjects.

Sometimes, the news that comes out of the poll is not the greatest of news. But that news is "the will of the reader."

The purpose of a newspaper is to provide its readers news. Sometimes, it's great news. Sometimes, it's bad news. And sometimes, it's surprising.

Most people that live in Clay County are aware of how much work goes into putting together the celebration. People know this because they attend the event and see it with their own eyes.

The reader suggested The Times could have provided "free publicity" regarding the event.

Free publicity is a delicate matter.

The purpose of a newspaper is to provide news. To educate. To help readers make informed decisions on subject matter going on within the community.

At the same time, the stories regarding the poll questions reflect the will of the reader. Those opinions. Those informed decisions.

The Times will continue to ask its online readers poll questions and some of those questions may not be what everyone wants to see.

But, then again, everyone has an opinion. And everyone has a right to express that opinion, good or bad.