letters to the editor

by YOU!

OH SNAPMr. Clarey,As daily publications fade, the opportunities forweeklies such YES! grow, but so do the responsibilities.I take it your publication wants to be takenseriously, despite the occasional overemphasis onboozing, broads, cheesy pictures and columnists likeChuck Norris.However, any claims at seriousness are undercutby reporter assumptions and mistakes, sloppy editing,little if any newsroom discipline and letting writers,especially those with little training and experience, dowhatever they please. As a regular reader, I see thisall too frequently.I’m annoyed too by columns like Mark Burger’sthat regularly brown-nose the fi lm department atUNCSA and extol junky, exploitation fi lms beingfi lmed by friends in the area. Then there’s his DVDVault. If that column talked about new video releases,it might have some merit, even though Burger isn’t asgood a critic as your last movie reviewer (who actuallyengaged with a fi lm instead of holding it at arm’slength) and not a very interesting or clever writer.Instead, Burger comes up with comments (some ofwhich seem copied from video boxes and publicitymaterial) of DVDs of little redeeming interest thathave been out of years and sometimes (as in a caseof a Criterion edition mentioned fairly recently) arealready out print.But I digress.I sent these comments to Joe Murphy regardinghis article on Washington Perk & Provisions:Mr. Murphy,Your article and picture on Washington Perk &Provisions contains at least four errors. The mostobvious was the cutline on the picture, which clearlyshows John but identifi es him as Jayne. This wascompounded by the various spellings of the couple’sname. In the third paragraph of the story, you spell itJohnston and then Johnson. Which is it?Not checking the facts, you assumed that Swaim’sGrocery next door sells a “stiffer drink” than wineand beer. This is NOT the case. They do not sell hardliquor or mixed drinks, only beer and some wine.Finally, you took Johnston’s (or Johnson’s) wordfor it that “the closest grocery stores are three milesaway.” This is not true. Less than a mile away atParkway Shopping Center there’s a large CompareGrocery Store. Folks like Johnston (or Johnson) maynot shop there, as the place caters mainly to Hispanics,but it’s a grocery store all the same.I was in the news business for 25 years as a reporterand editor. Reading YES! and other publications Ibemoan seeing reporters blindly print whatever theyare told and editors who seem too lazy to question orrevise some terrible writing (like the second sentenceof the second paragraph of this story) or question andcorrect errors like the cutline and the various spellingsof this couple’s name.More troubling in today’s “reporters” insistence oninjecting themselves into their stories. Readers wantinformation, not half a page of what you and yourbuddies were doing on the way to one of the restaurantsyou’re writing about, the concert you went to,the press conference you covered, etc. Granted, thereis a some leeway in a signed column, but it’s carriedtoo far.We called reporters who unquestioningly wroteeverything they were told “Walking Pencils,” butnow I guess you’re Walking Audio Recorders. I haveused recorders at interviews, and they are useful tobe sure you have quoted someone correctly. But thedanger is you just transcribe the audio and insert alittle color around it and call it journalism. It’s not.Journalism require thought and editing one’sthoughts. Too bad you and some of the others at YES!are not being taught this.Jim Shertzer, TriadSBI SHOCKERThe revelations about the SBI’s crime lab are trulydisgusting. Everyone involved in wrongdoing shouldbe fi red and put in jail. Maybe our state should havetwo crime labs so that defense attorneys can have anequal chance.The idea of “innocent until proven guilty” shouldmean something in our state. Of course in our statesuspects and defendants can have their DNA forciblytaken even though they haven’t been convicted of acrime. Apparently we North Carolinians are guiltyuntil proven innocent.Chuck Mann, GreensboroWYNDHAM FANWas there today in the rain with a group of friends.This is one fun, interesting, enjoyable and heartwarmingplace to go over this weekend. Supportinglocal economy, local non-profi ts, local everything.Go for the GGO! It was fun, even in the rain andweekend weather should be awesome. Go GGO!Judith Abraham, GreensboroSUPERIORITY COMPLEX’ You know Clarey, you also have been known tospread lies, quite a lot of them to propagate yourpersonal beliefs [“10 best political lies]. The thingI would like to see you do is spend some time in aborder town and we’ll see how long your candy-asslasts! Maybe you should go back to bartending, thenthe only thing you’ll need to think about is what thenext guy is ordering. And by the way, I can fi nd you agood recipe for crow, you’ll need it come this Nov.SignedYour superiorSteve Ellington, Greensboro