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On the edge
post Aug 28 2010, 05:59 PM
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Am I the only one to notice, or care that the letters page in NWN is now down to one side - and no Winchcombe. For me - that was the highlight. Is it apathy or frustration that stops people writing in? My family in Camden get the New Journal every week, their local paper - which has four sides full of local letters. And not just the 'thanks for the cash' or the 'celeb. chain letters'. Any views?


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Iommi
post Aug 28 2010, 06:25 PM
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I noticed that as well. Seems strange. The letters is usually my first visit.
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GMR
post Aug 28 2010, 06:35 PM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Aug 28 2010, 07:25 PM) *
I noticed that as well. Seems strange. The letters is usually my first visit.


I've written a few but they won't publish them. I also know others who have written in, but haven't got published. Unless it enhances their paper, or it is from somebody important then they are not interested in what you've got to say. A friend of mine use to work for the NWN many years ago and he told me that NWN regarded that section as a necessarily evil. It is obligatory for local papers to have letter pages, but they won't push the boat out behind that. They probably believe now that we've got this forum, so we should be grateful.
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GMR
post Aug 28 2010, 06:37 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Aug 28 2010, 06:59 PM) *
Am I the only one to notice, or care that the letters page in NWN is now down to one side - and no Winchcombe. For me - that was the highlight. Is it apathy or frustration that stops people writing in? My family in Camden get the New Journal every week, their local paper - which has four sides full of local letters. And not just the 'thanks for the cash' or the 'celeb. chain letters'. Any views?



Yes, but the Camden New Journal has competition so it must show it serves the community, and the letter page is the community. NWN is the only paper for this area so they hold the whip hand. If you don't like it; tough.
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Simon Kirby
post Aug 28 2010, 09:18 PM
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I always read the letters page. It's always good to see who's moaning about what, and I've had a couple there myself too.


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Strafin
post Aug 28 2010, 11:24 PM
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I've had several letters published, some which I didn't think would be in a million years. I would assume local papers must like to have a letters page as it gives them a chance to publish inflammatory opinions that they may have themselves without breaking editorial balance.
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GMR
post Aug 29 2010, 09:17 AM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Aug 29 2010, 12:24 AM) *
I've had several letters published, some which I didn't think would be in a million years. I would assume local papers must like to have a letters page as it gives them a chance to publish inflammatory opinions that they may have themselves without breaking editorial balance.


You might be one of the lucky ones, but they are selective and there are a host of readers that haven't managed to get their letters published. Those readers then get a bad impression of the paper, giving it a selective and elitist feel. Local papers should be for the community, not the few. I've known a few editors in my time and they've told me that what makes a local paper is its letter section. People feel that if they have any gripes they can voice them without prejudices or feeling not part of the pack.
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Strafin
post Aug 29 2010, 09:43 AM
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Obviously they are not going to publish everything! I've also had lots of letters not published, and several that have been edited.
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Iommi
post Aug 29 2010, 09:48 AM
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It is funny that this should be talked about, because the letters page is one of the main reasons I used to get the paper. I am now questioning whether I should continue to do so, due to the feebleness of the letters page.
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DrPepper
post Aug 29 2010, 10:01 AM
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It's a business, and unaffiliated, so the NWN can choose what, and what not, to print. They don't "owe" it's readers anything and if they feel the letters page doesn't justify the cost then it will be shortened or cut altogether.

If people stop buying the paper because a certain section is missing or lacking then it I think you will find it's quickly reinstated.

Then again, it could be that there are no letters being sent in that are worthy of inclusion - they may just be receiving a load of inane ramblings like you get here smile.gif
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Iommi
post Aug 29 2010, 10:13 AM
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Seeing as few local councillors and the ilk like to use this forum, the letters page used to be an interesting read to see what they thought of the 'other lot' and argue their own thoughts. biggrin.gif
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JeffG
post Aug 29 2010, 10:23 AM
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QUOTE (GMR @ Aug 29 2010, 10:17 AM) *
You might be one of the lucky ones, but they are selective

I don't know if I should count myself "lucky", but I have written a few letters to the paper in the past and always had them published.

It could be because they haven't been political, or been browbeating the police etc.
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GMR
post Aug 29 2010, 10:30 AM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Aug 29 2010, 10:43 AM) *
Obviously they are not going to publish everything! I've also had lots of letters not published, and several that have been edited.


That is understanable, however, the Letters Page has been shrinking lately. So what I said about it seems correct.
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GMR
post Aug 29 2010, 10:31 AM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Aug 29 2010, 10:48 AM) *
It is funny that this should be talked about, because the letters page is one of the main reasons I used to get the paper. I am now questioning whether I should continue to do so, due to the feebleness of the letters page.



I also agree, and I also know you are not alone in those thoughts.
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GMR
post Aug 29 2010, 10:33 AM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Aug 29 2010, 11:23 AM) *
I don't know if I should count myself "lucky", but I have written a few letters to the paper in the past and always had them published.

It could be because they haven't been political, or been browbeating the police etc.


Are you saying that the NWN discriminates against its readership?
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JeffG
post Aug 29 2010, 11:23 AM
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QUOTE (GMR @ Aug 29 2010, 11:33 AM) *
Are you saying that the NWN discriminates against its readership?

No. But it might apply its editorial standards to its "writership" biggrin.gif
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On the edge
post Aug 29 2010, 11:45 AM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Aug 29 2010, 12:23 PM) *
No. But it might apply its editorial standards to its "writership" biggrin.gif


I've often wondered if a degree of selection did creep in. However, DrPepper has a point about the commercial aspect. Local papers do seem to be under a bit of a threat, a bit like the nationals. Somewhat ironic that quite a few micro papers have sprung up nationally- which focus on the immediate goings on whuich suggests people are interested. Even the local politicos have 'gone missing' - perhaps because they have nothing to say execpt sorry!


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GMR
post Aug 29 2010, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Aug 29 2010, 12:23 PM) *
No. But it might apply its editorial standards to its "writership" biggrin.gif


In other words they've got a policy to exclude the less articulate in our society? Unless you've got an Oxford scholarship please don't write a letter to NWN as it will be ignored. We've got an upmarket paper that is not acceptable or for the oinks of Newbury; does that police also include the readership as well, do you think?
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JeffG
post Aug 29 2010, 02:52 PM
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Nothing to do with "articulate" (though I guess it needs to be reasonably understandable). I was meaning more along the lines of subject matter - some might be seen in a more favourable light than others, and some might be legally dubious, I don't really know.
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On the edge
post Aug 29 2010, 03:38 PM
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Can't we get some passion back? Or would that just get smothered by the cuts? Certainly given 'Dave's' view when the coalition first started I can't believe that the local party is all lovely with the Tories! Perhaps they have been censored too. Are we really that apathetic of that cowed that Newbury is the new Stepford? A few good campaigns would do us the world of good - things like making sure public investment is 'down South' the engine room of the economy - rather than being squandered on the ungrateful grasping Scottish. Reading is still investing – why not round here – rail bridge at Thatcham level crossing, dual carriageway to M3 at Basingstoke, the list goes on. Or shall we all just sit back?


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