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Publishing a letter critical of the competition

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Active Member

    The paper I write for recently ran a letter to the editor criticizing the competing's paper latest endeavor, a magazine devoted to homes, travel, cars, fashion and more.

    The letter writer called it "the latest assault on trees." The charge could be leveled probably against any publication. To me, this magazine is a new advertising vehicle designed to increase revenue. Any business is entitled to do anything legal, ethical and not conflicting with contracts to try to increase revenue.

    My gut feeling is that this will open Pandora's box and start a back-and-forth among the papers. I just feel this is unnecessary and could cause some problems.
  2. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    yeah sounds like a bad idea
  3. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    I think most readers would like it.
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    I'm sure the competition loves it: free advertising for their new publication.

    Most papers where I've ever worked, if they are in a competition situation, have had a policy: The competition does not exist. You do not mention them or acknowledge them in any way in your paper.

    One of the first things I had to do at one joint when I arrived as SE, was to order our photogs to quit taking baseball pictures which invariably featured a billboard of our competitor right behind the pitcher in center field. When I arrived there, I looked over the back issues for the previous year, and I swear I saw 50 pictures with that billboard in it. :eek:

    And Letters to the Editor count, too. You can decide to run, or not run, any LTTE any time you want, for any reason you see fit.
  5. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    Running letters critical of the competition is bush league.
  6. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    Not at all.

    No one should be exempt from the magnifying glass of a paper.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Depends on what the criticism is, pube...
    If "they suck," why give them publicity...
    If they do something much more heinous, rip the hell out of them...
  8. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    If someone has a problem with something the competition is doing, they really ought to address that issue with the competition.
    As much as I appreciate complements, even backhanded ones, I'd be curious about why the letter-writer chose to use your letters to the editor section as a forum to complain about the competition.
  9. Mr. X

    Mr. X Active Member

    My gut feeling is that the person knew there was essentially no chance of having his letter published in the paper responsible for publishing the new product, but wanted to get his opinion out, so he wrote our paper.
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