It was a weird morning dealing with a simple “Letter to the Editor” I wrote to the Appleton Post Crescent website. I was mildly disturbed by how they prioritized their stories online. As you’ll see, what unfolds is truly bizarre, weird and in my opinion, a little sketchy.
Anyway, it started with a “Letter to the Editor” I wrote:
To whom it may concern (actually it’s you the editor),
While I grew up in Appleton, I do not live there now. However, my parents live there and my wife and I still love to visit often. Because of this, I read postcrescent.com on a regular basis to keep up what’s happening in my home town.
I have become deeply concerned on how you have decided to prioritize stories. For instance, while the emails released implicating Governor Walker made national news, you had it nowhere on the front page of your website, today at 11:30am. Not even a tiny snip it on the bullet-points section on the bottom of the page where there are multiple stories linked. Why is that? Is it not newsworthy? Is having our own Governor sending out an email linking him to an illegal act not worth the reader’s time? I do see that there is an article on this, but again, it’s hidden away on the website.
I have consistently been worried about the editor(s)choices in print and on the website. It’s clear to me ideology or money is influencing the way this paper is being run. And to me, that’s a shame.
I’m asking you to remember who you are. We depend on you to give us the truth and to prioritize stories, without bias and without mercy, no matter the ideology. You owe that to us, the citizens of Wisconsin.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this.
I was wrong about one part of my email above. It stated it was not on the front page, that was incorrect. The story was posted way down at the bottom of the screen. I noticed this almost right after I sent the email. Below are screenshots of the front web page I took immediately after the “Letter to the Editor” I sent out that morning.
As you’ll see, on the the 12th screenshot down, the Walker email story is finally mentioned. Again, these screenshots were all just the homepage.
Then I received this email back from Larry Gullup (an editor at The Post Crescent) almost immediately.
I thought, “fair enough”. I then replied back to Mr. Gallup stating this:
As you can see by the date stamps, these conversations were quick responses from both of us. Mr. Gallup’s first email was at 12:01pm. I then responded at 12:12pm.
Then something weird happened. The website changed, with more emphasis on the Walker email story. I was so proud! Look at me Ma. I’m making things happen!
My respect for The Appleton Post Crescent and Mr. Gallup jumped to new heights. They listened to a reader, understood his concern and agreed there was some merit to it. Classy.
Again, the placement was still not to my satisfaction, but nonetheless, it was an improvement…so I was happy. (don’t stop reading there is more)
Here are the updated screenshots.
It’s under the “Can’t Miss Videos”. The poll question was also changed.
Then, 41 minutes past our last email communication. I received another email from Mr. Gallup.
When reading this email, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Instead of a simple reply back stating “Thanks for the email. We decided to move up the story for you.”, I received an email reply, making it seem like they had not changed their site since my first email AND at the same time, putting the blame of not noticing, on me.
Now, could this have been a coincidence? Sure. Could Mr. Gullup (the online editor) send that final email unaware of the changes on the website? Sure. That’s up to you to decide. For me, I’m going to try and give The Post Crescent the benefit of the doubt.
All I wanted to do was write a simple “Letter to the Editor”.