Thursday, January 21, 2010

When is a letter not a letter?

My piece for the Evening Standard yesterday was published in edited form, as a letter. Whilst that is, from a personal perspective, very gratifying, from the perspective of a reader, it might be somewhat confusing to find that, far from it being a spontaneous response to something that the correspondent has seen, it is a contribution actively solicited by the newspaper itself, a comment piece disguised.

On the positive, rather partisan side, it is good that Liberal Democrat views are being actively sought out - if only all media were the same. However, I always assumed that a letters page was an opportunity for ordinary members of the public to say their piece. That may be naive in an era of 24/7 news and a never ending need to find more material to put before viewers and readers, but it is a concept that one clings to as an element of a society which allows all to have their voice heard.

I should be flattered that someone read my blog, concluded that I can write coherently enough to be worthy of a greater audience, and approached me. I will, as a result, have reached a large audience, some of whom might conclude that what I have said makes sense, and might then be more inclined to consider voting Liberal Democrat.

And that can only be a good thing...

1 comment:

Robert Doyle said...

Back in 2005, Josh Neico at least used to e-mail bloggers and bulletin board participants who were dealing with contentious London issues by saying he was from the Evening Standard letters page.

I declined to give Veronica Wadley's rag any credibility by giving them my tuppenceworth.