The regular readers of my blog (I think this might total 1--me) may recognize that I take on an abnormal fascination with letters to the editor. I don't engage in the practice of writing letters to the editor myself...
This lack of letter writing has a lot to do with a letter I wrote to the student newspaper of Mankato State University (a.k.a. Minnesota State University-Mankato) known as the MSU Reporter. Regardless of the topic, I was ticked off that my letter was copied with typos and mis-dicatations. If I am going to appear to be a moron to the public, I want to do it based on my own writing. Not the misdictation of others. I have not written a letter to the editor since. That was 1993. The scar is SOOOOOOO deep...
Though I have not written a letter of complaint/concern/affirmation to a publication since 1993, my reading of the New York Times has brought me to writing about a complaint once again. Parts of the daily (non-archived) NY Times are no longer free on the web. They are charging money for reading op-ed columns online...maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I am quite peeved about this. They call it "TimesSelect." In the realm of the Web, I call it a travesty.
So here is my note to the NY Times. If I am to be judged a moron for my thoughts, it will be because I copied and pasted, not because of poor dictation.
Here it is:
To whom it may concern:
This new TimesSelect feature is a disappointment. I know that any company will look for opportunities to raise revenue, and the Times has selected a method that will choke circulation of the Times on the web. Your article about the McClatchy newspapers facing "clouds" on their horizon shows that newspapers need to be creative about finance. Are you seeing those clouds on the Times?
I have been frequently forwarding your articles on the web for years--articles that include your advertisements. I felt like I was participating in the genius of the web. Even though the cost is minimal to participate in TimesSelect, I believe the new service goes against where web presence should be going.
The few extra dollars in the Times coffers will not make up for the choking of the free flow of information.
Rev. Elihu Smales
Sioux Falls, SD
I'm sure there will be no takers if I call for a boycott of the New York Times, so I won't even bother.