I’ve been following a new webcomic, Broodhollow, for a few weeks now and I’m totally mesmerized. The artwork is smooth and gritty with beautiful coloring. The characters jump off the page. The storyline is fun, creepy and mysterious. I just love it.
A local paper in Jones County, Mississippi, published a front-page story entitled “Historic Wedding” about a lesbian couple in the local community who were recently married. Naturally, the paper got a ton of feedback (mostly negative) from its local readership, which both saddened and infuriated me. The owner of the paper, Jim Cegielski, wrote a response entitled “Doing Our Job” that contains a few gems of journalistic wisdom:
Most of the complaints seem to revolve around our headline, “Historic Wedding” and the fact that we chose to put the story on the first page. My answer…is pretty simple. You don’t have to like something for it to be historic. The holocaust, bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Black Sox scandal are all historic…whether you liked the story or not, the first known gay wedding to take place in Jones County is still historic.
Many of the calls received had the caller stating something to the effect, “I don’t need my children to read this.” Ugh. We have stories about child molesters, murders and all kinds of vicious, barbaric acts of evil committed by heinous criminals on our front page and yet we never receive a call from anyone saying “I don’t need my child reading this.” Never. Ever. However, a story about two women exchanging marriage vows and we get swamped with people worried about their children.
You have every right to cancel your subscription…But you have no right to berate and belittle anyone on our staff.
Color me amazed. I didn’t want the people working at this paper getting only negative feedback, so I wrote an encouraging email to the editor, and the following exchange did not disappoint. Warning: Beware of feels.
I recently read a story about the headline you ran regarding a “Historic Marriage” and the following backlash your paper and its staff received from the local community. I also read about Mr. Cegielski’s response to said complaints.
I was very impressed by Mr. Cegielski’s statement in defense of this story’s publication. The points he made about the lack of negative response regarding stories about murder, rape, molestation, etc., and the fact that “historical” are not always pleasant were both right on the money. I am so pleased with this public statement in defense of journalistic integrity and the staff who work at the paper. Well done.
I live in Los Angeles, but I’ve bookmarked your newspaper’s website and will visit it often to increase traffic to your site. I hope your paper continues to uphold the same high standards of journalistic integrity in the future.
I appreciate you for taking the time to write!
It was my pleasure, and well deserved. An impartial news source is not easy to find, so I was delighted that your response to all the negative feedback you got was to point out that the job of a news organization is to report just that: the news. Not what people want to hear, or a political opinion on current events, just facts.
Please give my warmest wishes to your staff. I know how it is dealing with wrankled customers: it sucks out loud. They have all my support (and the support of all the friends and family whom I’ve told about your experience). I hope they keep a good sense of humor while dealing with this and any future backlash for doing their jobs right.
I wrote a review of Beautiful Creatures, the worst book on the planet, on amazon.com a couple of months ago and got a lot more (read: any) attention than I expected. It served as my impetus to get on Goodreads.com, which is a fantastic book review website that I’m currently addicted to, and where I’ve made a couple of new friends due to the popularity of my Beautiful Creatures review.
I got another comment on my review today that read thusly:
Ok, so I haven’t read this book yet but when I do read reviews of books, I like to read the people who gave a bad review and discover why they didn’t like the book or what irritated them about it. I love your sense of humor with your review and how you go into detail about the specific parts of the book you didn’t enjoy. I am a writer and have recently self published my first young adult novel called Seeds of Eden. This is probably going to sound a little odd but I was wondering if you would read it and do an honest review of it. As an author I am still trying to find my reader base and connect with new readers. I can email you the epub version of my book if you would like to take a look at it. If you aren’t interested that is also fine, it’s up to you. Let me know what you think about this and get back to me!
Here is the link for my book on amazon: Seeds of Eden (The Concilium Series)
You can also find it on Goodreads too!
I was pretty dumbstruck. Was this a tricky way for this person to get someone to buy her crappy $0.99 ebook on amazon, or was she actually, genuinely asking for a review? I sat statue-still at my computer and thought, “Is this my first ever official request as a book reviewer?” I’m choosing to think so because that’s awesome, and the book looks pretty awful and should be fun to hilariously critique, lol. Still, I’m excited about it. Kinda stupid-excited.
Boyfriend plays WoW arena with a guy who has a menagerie of pets at his folks’ place (he’s a college freshman this year), and occasionally tells us hilarious stories about their personalities and habits. He off-handedly mentioned that he has taken to brush the dogs’ teeth almost every day since they were puppies, and I almost died. SO CUTE. I demanded a video of this, and he sent a pic with this IM conversation:
Hey look, it’s me.
Most art styles often take years of training to do well, but it’s not difficult to achieve a mediocre haiku. Haiku is my preferred weapon in the battle against boredom in meetings or during class. They’re easy to do in a short period of time; they don’t rhyme and they’re super short (three lines, 5-7-5 syllables), plus I look like I’m paying attention and taking notes (which, in a way, I am). I lean toward critical or humorous haiku, usually regarding the people around me, but occasionally about myself. Like so:
It hurts when I poke
myself in the eye, like this:
ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.
See? I just wrote that. Just now. Super easy.
I’d like everyone to give it a shot just to see what a fun creative outlet haiku can be. I keep asking my coworkers (and Dad) for them when they’re bored in meetings (and my coworkers definitely are), but to no avail.
I’ve taken to writing haiku about my classmates and sharing it in the classroom group chat. My professor really enjoys it, so whenever there’s a technical issue or a delay of some kind, the professor (and sometimes my fellow students) will ask for a haiku about it to keep us entertained. I keep it light at try to be funny. It passes the time, and I like to see the smile on people’s faces after they read my little poems.