Tuesday, April 26, 2005

All the Representation We Can Stand

Kate Parry is the relatively new Reader's Representative or the Star Tribune. Her column is, succinctly put, awful. Her defensive dismissals of legitimate reader inquiries (like this classic from Spitbull) and superficial understanding of the new media don't add value to anyone's appreciation of the process of MSM news gathering and information dissemination.

For example, here's some of her recent work representing the readers:

Imperfect as they can be, newspapers are still the highest-quality information source about your community. I firmly believe the health of our democracy is bound to the health of a free press.

No one else can match the staff, resources and rigorous standards newspapers bring to writing broadly, deeply and fairly about our communities. This is the place where people who disagree with each other can engage in debate for everyone to read, fueling the great ongoing civic discussions around dinner tables and over backyard fences that undergird democracy. This helps us make good decisions, as Minnesotans and Americans, about what to do next.

Does anyone know of a program I can add to my computer that provides a laugh track for columns such as this? It worked for Gilligan's Island and F-Troop, and I have to believe it would make Kate Parry's work so much more enjoyable too.

Accurately naming her column the Reporter's Representative column or the Reader's Brick Wall would help too, although it may not be as emotionally satisfying to those for whom the facade of being responsive to the readership is deemed important.

Check out Peter Swan from Swanblog for a terrific job of detailing Parry's standard operating procedures.


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