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Friday, November 21, 2008

I hab a code

I'm sitting at home in my fluffy socks, sipping hot drinks and considering something a reader has pointed out.

I have been sloppy. Yes.

I don't write about Name of Paper Withheld very often, but I've had this blog for a couple of years and I do write about their coverage from time to time. I have always called them Name of Paper Withheld as something of a courtesy, because I figured that they wouldn't want this blog to come up in search results for the name of their publication. I think that's probably not possible now that people have posted a number of comments with the names of the publications the parent company is responsible for.

Yes, "publications". Plural.

The parent company is responsible for territory-wide publications in both the NWT and Nunavut. They also have a number of smaller weeklies throughout the north, with a twice-weekly paper in Name of Town Withheld.

I honestly don't remember whether I was thinking about the weekly or local paper when I started using the nickname Name of Paper Withheld. However, I am quite sure that over time, I have erred in referring to them both by this nickname. As a reader has pointed out, this is unfair and misleading. I owe you more than this sort of sloppy conflation. Many thanks to "Chris" for making this clear.

Some readers have told me that it doesn't matter; that they know "Name of Paper Withheld" is a sort of shorthand for the local newspaper. Although this was certainly my original intention, it has become clear to me that it is unfair and misleading to people who know the difference. I owe you more than that. I refer to both the local and national CBC news teams as "the MotherCorp" or "the national broadcaster", but I am generally more careful to note when I am writing about the local guys as opposed to the national guys. It is unfair for me not to apply the same standard to other news media.

Starting right now, I am going to be clear about whether I am writing about the local paper or the territorial paper. This will not change anything else about the blog, and I don't think most people will notice a difference. It has not been relevant to the majority of my readers, but I do have readers in Name of Town Withheld, and it is a matter of accuracy.

Further, I need to apologise for a conflation within the last few days. I wrote about a story in the local paper, and mentioned that it was promoted on the front page. Then I included an image of the territorial paper's front page, which showed an example of something else I was discussing within that post, but NOT the story in the local paper that was the main focus of the post. This created some confusion. To be clear: they are separate publications, and I did not intend for the image to represent the story I was discussing.

Regardless of my original intention, I need to apologise for the misunderstanding that resulted when a reader pointed out that they are different papers: I agreed that they are, but did not understand that he was criticising the fact that I had combined a reference to the front page of the local paper with an image of the front page of the territorial paper. I should have been more clear that the image was not intended to illustrate the main part of the post, which, after all, did include a reference to a front page. This was sloppy of me and could have been dealt with in an extra sentence or two.

I am not going to change the original post; rather, I will link this post to it. Then I'm going to take more cold pills and go back to bed.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Get better soon!

scribe said...

Don't fret. The world will go on. If Paper of Town With held were to disappear, would anyone notice? In fact, when the last newspaper folds, will anyone care? Blogs are more relevant than ever. Take that Russell!

Feel better.