Today’s edition of The Union contains a letter from Jean Gerard complaining about the paper’s coverage of CABPRO’s opposition to Measure W, a letter that demonstrates substantial ignorance of how the media operate and how to deal with them.
Gerard criticizes The Union for failing to publish the complete text of the organization’s opposition to W, and for implying that CABPRO is pro-marijuana.
First, no media outlet has an obligation to print the statement of any organization. The Union can choose to print it or ignore it completely, publish part of it or just excerpts. That’s an editorial judgement newspapers make every day.
Second, nothing in the CABPRO release explicitly states the organization opposes recreational pot. The only direct reference to the evil weed is that it grows best outdoors without the use of nasty chemicals, a statement I’ve heard many times from the medical marijuana contingent. The release should have included a statement that CABPRO does not endorse the general use of pot.
That could have been avoided if CABPRO had made available a spokesperson who could answer any questions a reporter might have. Reporter Alan Riquelmy wrote that Gerard confirmed the authenticity of the statement but was unavailable to answer questions, and that CABPRO’s web site listed no directors or executive director.
It is standard procedure in professional public relations operations to include in a press release the name and contact information for a spokesman who can answer questions. If CABPRO knew what it was doing, it would have made available a representative who could speak for the organization and answer specific questions about the release.
Don’t criticize The Union because you don’t know what you’re doing.
SHAKEN OR STIRRED?: Riquelmy apparently favors martinis, ideally with Bombay Sapphire. That’s pretty fancy-pants for a reporter at The Union, where the editorial staff generally favors beer and/or wine.