The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.

To: Liz Spayd -

Cc: Doug Skoglund -

From: Doug Skoglund -

Date: 13 Jul 2016 06:00 CDT

Subject: Listening to the Reader...

I wrote:

I have been trying to get some attention from the Times since May of 2014 by posting 20 pages to my web site and mailing copies to Margaret Sullivan. All to no avail -- completely ignored. And I am not going to try to explain the entire process in this post. You must indicate an interest because I wasted far too much time on Margaret.

And you replied:

Due to the number of e-mails that we receive on a daily basis, we are not able to respond personally to everyone who writes. If a further reply is warranted you will be hearing from us in a timely manner.

Talk about non-responsive responses, timely manner -- what does that mean??

Obviously, there is still time to respond; however the odds are pretty low. The point is that you can not use any of the present systems to listen to the reader because they are all designed for talking at the  reader -- and there is a difference. The existing comment systems are close; however, since they are designed to control the reader they will not provide the optimum atmosphere for reader participation.

If you really wish to listen to the reader, you must put the reader on the same level as the writer -- both should be "published" for freedom of access to all potential readers. You must create a discussion atmosphere -- you don't have to respond to every participant -- you only need to participate in the discussion -- the people will naturally learn to respond to each other.

It is up to you, dear lady -- learn how to treat the reader as an equal or go down with the ship (the New York Times).

To be continued (of course)

Doug Skoglund

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention).

BTW, I am working on a replacement system for individuals -- and I sure could use some help. Please see, a work-in-process.

This page posted at

2016 Archive List

2015 Archive List

2014 Archive List