I have never publicly posted a reader complaint before, but this one I could not pass up. And clearly this reader’s real name is not Ron Shagnasty.
Tax “haul” article
Ron Shagnasty [email@example.com] Sent: Fri 7/22/2011 8:50 PM
Is “haul” an appropriate choice describing tax revenue??
The word “haul” is often used to describe ill gotten gains.
The NEW WORLD DICTIONARY has many definitions - here are the applicable ones:
10. the goods obtained from a robbery
12. the amount of a contraband seizure: arms haul ; drugs haul
I rest my case
Before I could respond, I received another email from Mr. Shagnasty. I believe it has a taunting tone.
From: Ron Shagnasty [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2011 10:23 AM
To: Luther, Megan
Subject: “haul” article
whasamatter - no comment?? I figured as much. Kinda shows your political bias.
Then I responded.
From: Luther, Megan
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2011 10:25 AM
To: ‘Ron Shagnasty’
Subject: RE: “haul” article
I just got into work. You sent your email at 9pm on Friday. I didn’t work this weekend.
I can’t possibly see how using the word haul shows political bias.
Thanks for the information and thanks for reading.
Here’s the story: http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011107220321
By the way, I didn’t use the word “haul” in my story. The headline did. Reporters don’t write the headlines. Some of us, including me, are quite bad at it.
From time to time, all reporters get reader complaints. I have responded to all of them.. Some complaints are valid: I misused or misspelled a word or I left out a detail. I try very hard to not make mistakes. But on a daily deadline, sometimes they happen. It’s the nature of the business since, as journalists, our work is published.
I actually welcome reader responses for two reasons. 1. It means they are reading. 2. They can provide some helpful tips or ways I can improve.
Below is BY FAR my favorite reader complaint I have ever received. This person took the time to use a typewriter and send me this note. Of course they didn’t sign it. I believe the story was about gas prices.
I will be off this week for a staycation. I will be back next week with some posts on federal public records, strippers and much more.