Thanks for adding your two cents to this discussion, Laura. Your input has been lacking. I agree that had I have recognized I was seen as a fellow journalist and part of the Daily Camera team I would have best just emailed you. The funny thing is, I *do* email writers there about hiccups and glitches in stories. Ask Alicia. :-) Good discussion, for sure, thanks for launching this ship, Dave.
Well, sure, "Trumpet", but there's a different standard of writing and, if you will, journalistic integrity, in comments left on a blog-style newspaper article site and an article actually published in a newspaper. Don't you agree?
No, that's my point: Dave. At what point is a freelancer or stringer part of an organization or an employee, and at what point do they more reasonably get lumped in with the proletariat, the people on the outside who are just interested and engaged members of the community and passionate about the organization? Think Apple Fanboys, for example....
Thanks for the response, Dave. I think we might already be belaboring the point a bit, but I want to observe that as I said earlier, I see any article in a newspaper as the product of multiple contributors, not just the person whose name is on the byline. I know from interaction with other Camera reporters that they don't write captions for the photos or images used in the stories, and I know from my own experience that headlines are the purview of another editor too. So while it seems reasonable to say "email the writer" if there's an issue, I had no way of knowing that Laura was responsible for that particular word or the tone of the piece. Indeed, she later admitted that she asked for the piece to be toned DOWN because she felt it had too many rhetorical flourishes.
Nonetheless, from the reaction here I can see that my perspective on feedback of this nature in a public forum is different to the staffers there at the Daily Camera. In the future I won't be posting any sort of comments or feedback on writing, journalistic integrity, or accuracy direclty on the site. Que sera, sera.
Which begs the question Reid, when is someone "part of the organization" or an "employee" and when is someone a freelancer who is contributing to the publication but not really part of the organization? I mean, I've never attended a single editorial meeting, I haven't stepped foot in the editorial offices for years, and I wouldn't recognize my editor if they bumped into me on the street. Once every 4-5 weeks I send in 500 words. Am I an employee?
Great topic, Dave, and fair game for a discussion. While I do write an approximately monthly column for the Camera (not weekly), I consider myself more as an active, participatory member of the Boulder community than as a staffer with the Daily Camera. Perhaps that's my bad, but I write daily for some sites, weekly for others, and I believe my Daily Camera tech column is the most infrequent regular writing gig I have.
Subsequent to my post on the Camera Web site, Laura and I talked via email about my comment, her reaction and my explanation. As I said to her, I certainly didn't mean any offense, but whether we're making science writing accessible or not, I find the use of "screaming" as a description of speed out of place in a journalistic article. Hence my comment. Yes, 1100mi/sec is fast. Okay, so maybe "racing towards Earth" would work. The word struck me in this particular context - in a daily newspaper - as overly dramatic rhetoric.
I didn't question her accuracy, and for all I knew, an anonymous editor at the paper had changed her piece to add the additional drama. It's one of the less obvious wrinkles associated with modern journalism, actually, that we writers produce the original copy, but what appears in print or online is the product of additional hands, particularly captions and headlines.
I have apparently struck a nerve there in the newsroom with my comment, and for that I apologize. It was never my intent to do more than ask in a humorous manner whether "screaming" was an appropriate word choice for this particular story. I'm well known in the online community -- including the Daily Camera comment pool -- for my wry comments and dry wit (at least, I think it's dry wit. Your mileage may certainly vary).
As it happens, yes, I believe it's fine for us to examine each other's work in the public eye, and comment upon it there too. If the issue is mild and benign. The use of a dramatic rhetorical flourish in a story is surely within that category, Dave, don't you think?
Oh, and de facto you must agree with my position, Dave, or why would you be identifying me by name and offering links to my other work in this blog post if you didn't believe it was appropriate in certain contexts to publicly comment on a colleague's style?
Cool, but "screaming toward Earth"? Really? Are we now reading the National Enquirer, Laura?
Applebee's is going to shut down, that's easily solved. But BJ's next door to California Pizza Kitchen? That's sure to impact the traffic at CPK. Then again, it's crazy busy of an evening so more options = good. We'll just have to really wrestle with parking, the ever-more-precious commodity at 29th Street Mall.
Did you read the article? "... will cost the restaurant about $10,000 in lost revenue over the course of the four-day suspension." Lost revenue is not the amount of the fine.
So let's do the math. $10,000 for four days = $2,500/day. Average margarita price = $6.50. That means that they're selling roughly 385 drinks per day. If the busy period is 12-2 and 6-10, that means they're selling an impressive 65 margaritas per prime hour. If you figure some of this is actually beer sales, it's even more beverages since they're cheaper than the margaritas. Holy cow, I had no idea they were selling more than one alcoholic beverage per minute of their prime hours...