Readers’ Feedback

via roboticbees.com

From what I’ve experienced, the feedback comes as e-mails, mostly. I only get feedback via voice messages from sources that know my desk number. It’s usually not so bad. Sometimes they are a little fired up, but my voice mail has been fairly quiet at my time here at the Chronicle.

As for e-mail, it’s where feedback comes in forwarded messages from my editors. We have a standard news [at] the chronicle [dot] com e-mail address, so that’s where most of the complaints/thanks/suggestions come in. More often than not, the feedback isn’t friendly. But that’s okay. You get used to quickly.

I know I did. You are writing the news, sometimes it’s bad and sometimes it’s good. We all know of papers that only write the “good” news. At the Chronicle, we make an effort to do both. If things are good then that’s great, but when things get bad we make sure to get that in too. It’s nothing against the towns or anyone, at all. It’s just how the paper has been run since 1877.

Mike told me in my first week that if you are making too many people happy you are doing something wrong. He instilled in me that when people call to “complain” it’s because we are doing something right. Obviously, that can be taken a bunch of ways. From what I’ve experienced most of the people that call/e-mail/stop by the newsroom are upset that the newspaper covered whatever story it was that bothered them in the first place.

They aren’t calling about that bad lead you wrote or if you were really at that meeting last week. You can trust me on that.

It gets easier to deal with the more it happens. It’s not an everyday occurrence. It comes in waves. Some weeks will be quiet and others, depending on the stories, will remind you of what you are doing. You are writing for each person that reads the paper, not a select few. You have to remember that. I’ve had to remind myself of that a few times in the last eight months.

To keep yourself sane you have to take it one day at a time.

Jonathan

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