You Be The Editor
The huge interest out there in blogworld in the internal workings of a big daily newspaper -- more than 800 comments earlier this week on our ombudsman's take on the Jack Abramoff affair -- leads me to wonder if you might want a peek at some of the crucial decisions that editors, the anonymous leaders of the newsroom, must make hundreds of times a day.
Let's say you're an editor in the Style or Metro section. Part of your task each day is to sift through hundreds of possible stories and decide which ones you want on your pages tomorrow morning. Some of those ideas come from reporters, some from readers, and some from PR agencies. Every missive from readers gets read, and in most cases, answered. But when it comes to stuff from PR people, most of it goes unopened into the trash. Sadly, that deprives many in the newsroom of some fine entertainment. And the poor readers hardly ever get to see the product of the vast industry devoted to getting publicity.
So today, we remedy that situation. Here are two of today's PR pitches. You be the judge: Do you a) assign a reporter and get the story in tomorrow's paper, b) kick yourself for having opened the email in the first place, c) immediately send the news release to all your buddies and then throw it away, or d) slap that baby up on the blog so the whole class can share the laugh?
Toilet Terror Could Strike During Halftime
NEENAH, Wis., Jan. 17, 2006-- Every year, 64 million Americans-- more than one in five-- face a clogged toilet, often at halftime. In fact, legend has it 90 million toilets will be flushed during halftime of the upcoming Big Game, creating enough water to flow over Niagara Falls for seven minutes. This high-traffic bathroom time is known as the Halftime Flush.
The SCOTTÂ® Clog Clinic-- an authority on common-sense solutions for eliminating clogged toilets-- has teamed up with renowned professional football player, coach, and Big Game Halftime expert, Mike Ditka, to take control of toilet terror with www.halftimeflush.com. This online resource offers common-sense solutions to help avoid toilet blockages, and the emotional and financial strains they cause.
"During the Big Game, the pressure to win is always intense in the locker room," said Ditka. "And, the thing is, not only does the team feel the pressure, but the fans and their bathrooms do too. See, during halftime, so many johns are flushed, they go into overtime mode. All that water pressure can cause serious clogs so, it's important to prepare!"
And Release #2--be sure to read, or skip to, the last sentence:
Plastic Surgery Tops Valentine's Day Gift List
For Valentine's Day, more and more people are giving the gift that doesn't go away: plastic surgery.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, plastic surgery has become one of the most sought-after gifts this year-- and the labiaplasty is at the top of that list.
We live in parlous times (I've always wanted to write that and seeing as how I'm not prime minister of a troubled land, I never had the chance). But you as editor must rise above the petty disputes of the world and address the key questions that define our daily lives. Toilet terror or labiaplasty--which is the story you will assign? The power rests in your hands.
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