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My Letter In Today's Detroit Free Press
They printed my letter complaining that they aren't firiing that one-man sap factory, Mitch Albom, for sleazery on a story; omitting the fact that I'm syndicated columnist (which seems relevant to me, and which I specifically included as the signature of the letter to be printed).

Disappointing choice

I grew up in Detroit, loving the Free Press, reading it every day, from about age 8 on, and I'm terribly disappointed at your decision. Maybe, just maybe, the golden goose is not Mitch Albom's popularity and fame, but the Free Press' credibility?

Amy Alkon

Santa Monica, Calif.

Posted by aalkon at April 26, 2005 9:10 AM

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I write for a local music magazine, and my editor (pretty much) gives me free rein. With that comes the responsibility to check my facts *and* my spelling. While I make the occasional blunder, I most certainly do not write about a show *before* it happens, because that would be dishonest. For someone who purports to have journalistic integrity, I must say Albom disappoints and should just step down. IMHO, this goes beyond the realm of what is inappropriate and into a serious breach of ethics.

Posted by: Goddyss at April 26, 2005 8:04 AM

This might be more of an issue that needs to be taken up with newspapers more than specific reporters. Back when there was hockey, I talked to a hockey beat writer who explained to me that he starts writing his recaps as soon as something significant happens. He notes every event in a neutral fashion. By the time the game ends, all he has to do is write two sentences and then cut'n paste a few times.

The next time I read one of his recaps, I skipped the first two sentences on purpose and realized that without them it easily could have been written for a win, not a loss.

I realize that this is not quite the same thing as Albom did in his article about the two basketball guys, but I'm sure he did it for the same reason- to get it to his editor for printing.

Unfortunately, I don't really know of any way to do any of this differenly, short of making newspapers online only.

Posted by: Little ted at April 26, 2005 11:04 AM

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