Irate callers

Ive been here for nearly seven weeks, and Ive been overwhelmed, in a mostly good way, by readers responses to the latest changes in the paper, story placement or even lack of stories. Its not the type of interaction Ive ever had to deal with. As a reporter, you can decide, for the most part, what stories you write. But you still had to follow an editors command, the news cycle or time. As a part-time freelance editor, I just dealt with grammar, spelling and flow of story.

have received calls from irate readers over dropping stock listings. Something people above my pay grade did to save costs. With most people getting their stock news online, it appeared to be a sound business decision. But some readers said it was the only reason they picked up our paper. (Not something you really want to hear as an editor.)
One caller questioned why we didnt put the death of a soldier who died in Iraq and was posthumously awarded a medal for bravery. We had a story in the paper about the man, but it was inside. We usually dont put that type of news on our front page, unless the soldier is from our area. That reasoning didnt really mollify the caller.
Other callers have asked me why we havent covered anti-war rallies in Los Angeles or contentious school employee situations. Once again, limited resources and geography, unless its a story that is regional, are the boundaries the paper is constrained by.
We try to pick the stories that are important, sometimes we get it wrong, but mostly we get it right. I encourage people to keep calling. The messages I cant or dont deal with are always passed on to the appropriate hands.

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