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Writers responding to reader hate mail

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JackReacher, May 15, 2012.

  1. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    http://deadspin.com/5910256/drew-sharp-responds-to-a-reader-does-the-little-baby-need-a-pacifier#13370797147481&{"type":"powwowLoaded"}

    A running series on Deadspin featuring some entertaining responses to reader complaints via e-mail. I know there are a lot of sports editors and other decision-makers on here. How would you handle this?

    I know Gregggg Doyel has a weekly Hate Mail column, and I'm sure others do as well.
     
  2. I'm sorry but that makes these guys looks pathetic and insecure.

    I was taught to write the angry reply. Vent. Give the commenter hell. And then hit delete.


    And then type ...
    "Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment."

    The chances of your angry, sarcastic reply showing up on the Intra-ma-net to haunt you is almost 99 percent when you pull this kind of a response out of the bag. Again, the professional is one who looks bad. Always.

    Bitch to your co-workers and family. Keep it professional when dealing with the public. Or for God's sake do it without leaving a footprint.
     
  3. Azrael

    Azrael Active Member

    This is the online equivalent of your local morning television show asking viewers to send in their home videos.

    Deadspin: Officially out of ideas
     
  4. jackfinarelli

    jackfinarelli Member

    I do enjoy reading Gregg Doyel's weekly "Hate Mail" columns. He does them with humor - - and a couple of running gags from column to column - - and that humor dilutes the level of venom in the columns.

    Once in a while, TJ Simers will do a column based on "Reader Responses" and his message is that some of the folks who made those comments "live among you..." [Confession: I wish he would do these more frequently than he does; some of the columns are really funny.]

    Some columnists can pull this off because that is the persona they project in their writings. It would not work for everyone by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  5. Bamadog

    Bamadog Well-Known Member

    I never engage them. Don't feed a troll. It only encourages them.

    I always thank them for reading and ask them to have a nice day.

    You always have to be a professional. It's all right to bitch to your colleagues, your family and your wife, but not to the troll. Never. You always have to be the mature one in that situation. Besides, I figure one of them might be waiting for me with a scope and a rifle, so it pays to be nice.
     
  6. young-gun11

    young-gun11 Member

    Clay Travis does the best job along with Doyel. I love reading their columns.
     
  7. writingump

    writingump Member

    The reader is always right, except in the case of the last guy for which I worked. If a reader dared to take issue with him, he would sometimes respond with a "revenge" column. Class act.
     
  8. So you did cost their kids scholarships?
     
  9. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    The reader is NOT always right. Many times they're effing clueless fanboi idiots and writers should not have to always put up with shit from them without giving some back.

    But it's a no-win situation, so responding with "Thanks for reading Our Paper/Site and have a great day" is the best way of saying "eff you" without getting yourself in trouble.
     
  10. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    The same can be said of plenty of writers.
     
  11. In terms of hate email, those examples were pretty weak. I wonder what the guy writes to the really hateful ones.
     
  12. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    The big thing is to not take it personally. If you can do that, the rants people spew at you are pretty entertaining.
     
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