I’m going to preface all this nonsense by saying that I am not a perfect person. I don’t claim blogging to be some noble cause but it did help me to manage a particularly stressful time in my life. I also know for a FACT (since I know you like those) that it has helped others. It has connected me with some wonderful (and a few not so wonderful) people that have helped me flesh out the real picture of what small town America is like. The ideals, the values, the history behind it, even the beauty of the land. I am admittedly a city girl, at least for most of my life but no matter where my life takes me, the lessons I have learned here will be carried with me for the rest of my days. Years from now when I sit on my front porch, wherever that maybe, I will take the time to reflect and listen to the sounds of life. Something I didn’t really do before coming here. We all take different things from situations. Ten people could look at the same event and have ten different stories from it. It’s no different with this election and all that is being said.
The Williston Herald saw fit to take time and space to attempt to call me out on something I posted on my facebook page. I have highlighted below in bold print the words from the Herald article. At the end of this article is also the link the actual article on the Williston Herald website as well as screen shots of the article in case they try to “correct” something. My original posting that I did is still on my Facebook page.
HERALD: There was recent misinformation given out to the voting public of Williston. It was called a Bakken Fail of the Day. This information came out on a blogger’s site. This blogger did not take the time to get all the information and get it correct before they posted it. In the newspaper business that is a big no no. You try to confirm all information before you bring it to the public as the truth.
I never used the term Bakken Fail of the Day. I said only FAIL OF THE DAY. You take time and web space to shout to whomever will listen that I don’t bother to collect the facts before I post however it seems you THE NEWSPAPER, a publication that is supposed to be in the business of facts, can’t seem to do it themselves. That’s a big no no, remember?
HERALD: Did we charge $900 a page? No. This was false and not even close to the truth. You would have been able to purchase several inside pages for that kind of money.
Again, that’s not what I said. I’m not entirely sure why they couldn’t even get their own facts on this one straight. First, I did not state it was $900 a page. I could have been more specific I suppose but that’s often the nature of blogging, you write things based on emotion. My bad. It was Jim Purkey that gave me this figure and he never said it was per page. It could have been the Williston trying to get him to buy multiple pages although if you look at the attached price sheet, you could not even buy two pages of black and white space for 900$, at least not according to the Herald’s own ad sheet.
HERALD: Are we allowed to charge for our products? Absolutely – how else do we pay the 30-plus employees who work in our building. How does this blogger expect us to keep the lights on if we do things for free? This was a special section, and along with that comes a cost to produce it.
Of course, I even conceded this point in my own post. My point is not that you didn’t have the right to do it, it was that it was in poor taste. I know what an advertorial is, the question is how many people who read your special section do? It’s not a term that is used often in typical verbiage so unless you have a journalist background, how likely is it that everyone will realize what they are reading? Most will think it’s legitimate news and you know it. Along this line of thinking I guess it would be appropriate to go down to Watford City and charge the victims of last week’s tornado to be included in a special section. Or maybe you could gather anyone doing fund raisers and charities and charge them to be in a “special section”. You seem to forget, I know what you sell in ads. In any election it should never be about who has more money and more resources but that’s exactly what you did. You further divided this election when it was unnecessary to do so. You could have fairly represented them all and still make your precious ad revenue.
HERALD: We excluded candidates. No. Every candidate was contacted several times and we explained to them there would not be a story in the special edition if they chose not to participate. It is no different than purchasing signs for yards. If you do not purchase them, no one will do it for you. It is a form of advertising — no different than buying air time, print ads, signs or sending out letters. There is a cost involved.
I legitimately LOL’ed on this one (that’s a blogger term by the way). When I read this I heard the Godfather in my head. “They declined to participate”. And yes, it is different than purchasing signs for yards.
HERALD: …and in fact every candidate was listed in the book. A complete listing of each candidate running for office was listed on page 11 of the book.
This is only point where they were right. Jim Purkey was mentioned on page 11. I am adding a screen shot here. Can you find it? I feel like this is becoming “Where in the World is Jim Purkey”. In fact here is the exact page they are so proud of, look for yourself.
HERALD: Where to begin, each candidate was GIVEN a story on the front page of the newspaper.
Are you suggesting that anything on the front page is not GIVEN? Are those paid for as well? I should hope not. If I had more time I would go through the paper and see how many times you wrote about each candidate. I would be willing to bet (although to be fair, I don’t know) that it’s not balanced. Your JOB is to report on the important aspects that affect people’s lives, both good and bad. Is this election and the candidates not a legitimate part of that? You didn’t GIVE them anything. At the moment they are part of something that is a legitimate news event for this town.
HERALD: How many other media companies in town have allowed each candidate to tell their story for free in a full story or coordinating with the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Foundation to put on and advertise for free all of the forums for all of the candidates.
I can’t speak for the other news agencies in town. I don’t watch TV but I do recall a KEYZ 660 at the last forum. Were they broadcasting? You are not the only ones getting the word out and it’s arguable how much that is even benefiting the candidates anyway. Again, you imply that you are doing the candidates a favor by not charging them for participation in the forum.
HERALD: As a newspaper, we will rarely take up newsprint to set our record straight. We would prefer that someone come to the office and visit with us and tell us what they believe we are doing wrong. Bring facts with them to prove what their point, because that’s what we deal in, facts. Our final word on this came from a friend offering us strength: “Do not correct a fool or he will hate you; correct a wise man, and he will appreciate you.”
Hello Kettle, my name is Pot. You’re black.