Tsk, tsk, tsk. That’s the essence of Katherine Q. Seelye’s recent New York Times’ article on how use of websites and blogs enables news subjects to balance traditional journalism. Most of Seelye’s article details complaints about the way in which subjects of news articles and broadcasts are responding to media coverage of them.
Hm. In the past errors or misrepresentation on the part of traditional journalists have been all too easy to pass off. Subjects had no means other than Letters to the Editor to set the record straight. Sounds like Seelye forgets that all writers, editors and producers (including herself) have a slant which shapes every story they produce. After all, everybody has a perspective. And that slant or perspective, can, if let loose, evolve into incorrect, or unfair and biased reporting.
The value in Seelye’s article is in showcasing how important it is for nonprofits to be prepared to talk back on inaccurate coverage. Using websites and blogs, nonprofit organizations can set the record straight in way that goes far beyond Letters to the Editor (which should be sent as well). Keep track of audio tapes of interviews, email exchanges and notes on conversations, and be prepared to publish them online if necessary, making sure that content is picked up by Google and other search engines.