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July 22, 2009 10:45:00 AM
Direct-mail letters from The Clarion-Ledger to Columbus residents erroneously refer to "your local newspaper in Columbus" changing its format to "that of a weekly advertiser," in an attempt by the Jackson paper to drum up its own circulation.
Several Dispatch subscribers on Tuesday dropped off letters they received to The Dispatch''s offices.
The Commercial Dispatch has no plans to change its current format or frequency. The Dispatch is a daily newspaper delivered Monday through Friday and on Sunday.
The Starkville Dispatch is also a daily newspaper distributed Monday through Friday and on Sunday. It is available for free in racks in more than 50 locations around town, and is also delivered to homes within the city limits.
Clarion-Ledger circulation director Sharon Heckler, who is responsible for the letters, said she based the campaign on a phone call from a single person who said he was from Starkville. She said she would mail corrections to addresses that received the first letter.
A call and e-mail to Clarion-Ledger Publisher Larry K. Whitaker were not returned Tuesday. A secretary in Whitaker''s office said he does not readily return phone calls.
Christina commented at 7/22/2009 12:39:00 PM:
I received such a letter yesterday in the mail 7/21/09... I wondered what it was all about! Local businesses are having a hard enough time making ends meet and I understand wanting to advertise, but come on! False representation is no way to go about it. However, people should remember to read everything they receive in the mail carefully, and if you did, you'd notice it had Jackson, MS written all over it and was CLEARLY not for Columbus news. Sharon Heckler should be ashamed of herself and the Clarion Ledger should pay better attention to the "goings-on" of employees. If the letters were approved by someone higher up than her, then Shame on them too!
A reader commented at 7/22/2009 3:13:00 PM:
I agree-- no business needs to be blindsided by another in this economy!
Leeroy Jenkins commented at 7/22/2009 3:49:00 PM:
Apparently she is stupid enough to send out letters based on one phone call from someone she don't even know.
Chris commented at 7/22/2009 6:07:00 PM:
Does this mean that Columbus will FINALLY get some decent local coverage for once?
MB commented at 7/22/2009 9:56:00 PM:
I have been reading the Communist Liar (Clarion Ledger) for years. I got that name from my preacher who for years talked about the papers political agenda and slant toward the left. The CD is not a bad paper and I feel does a good job for the most part. I would not pay money for the CL unless I needed some paper for the dogs to use. The sports coverage is awesome but the political agenda towards the left is horrible.
psycho commented at 7/23/2009 12:08:00 PM:
Speaking of Jackson, I can't believe the Dispatch closed its Jackson bureau. John Mott Coffey was/is an excellent reporter and will be missed. If the problem is money, keep Jackson and get rid of the Starkville Dispatch, which is just a front page rearranged Columbus edition.
Me commented at 7/23/2009 12:38:00 PM:
Good point "psycho"
to "MB" if you do not thing the CD is a leftist paper with a agenda the the initials "MB" must stand for "mostly blind"
Terry Harpole commented at 7/23/2009 1:03:00 PM:
I always read all the Clarion Ledger, and Tupelo, and Starkville newspapers in addition to the Columbus Dispatch. I like the new format of the online editon of the Columbus paper too.
I hope the newspapers don't get in a war as I think all could be of benefit to us.
I like the Columbus paper because on the day I get one, there is news of the same day.
Our local newspapers are all good for the communites here.
MB commented at 7/23/2009 2:08:00 PM:
That was really funny! I liked that comment. I have emailed a few of the writers on here before because their facts were not right in some of their stories. Got a nice email from one and a rude one from the other. This paper is not as bad like I said but look at the overall print media in our country. The business is dying because the majority of Americans are tired of their biased and left thinking ideas. The economy has nothing to do with it. Print media was tanking years before the Dems let the economy tank!
Leeroy Jenkins commented at 7/23/2009 3:48:00 PM:
@Me - Exactly.
Thom Geiger commented at 7/24/2009 9:20:00 AM:
MB and Me, I agree that the bias of media limits their appeal to audiences, and in doing so, they create a market for their own competition. If a store refuses to sell a particular type or brand of a product that has a user base, then there is potential market share for any other retailer who offers what that store doesn't.
In the case of the CD, the Packet is in business for one reason; it must offer something that the CD can't, won't or doesn't offer.
As for the demise of print media, it's natural evolution. Media is a way to pass on information. We stopped using cave walls and pictographs long ago. We stopped using hand written manuscripts. We stopped using lead type.
When people were more pedestrian in their daily lives, walking here and walking there, it was easy to stop at the street rack and get a paper to read in the barber chair or on a park bench.
As more and more people spent more time in front of their television sets, owed mainly to the ever lower cost of owning one and the advent of color, we migrated our news gathering to the tube.
Now, with more and more households and more and more individuals having access to the internet, the increasing prevalence of 3G and 4G smart phones, city-wide WiFi (can you hear me now, Mr. Mayor?) and PDAs, our information gathering has moved once again, to the internet this time.
Unfortunately, the media, who have enjoyed a local monopoly on information and pretty much have controlled what people have seen and heard on the local level, are experiencing tough competition and trying to drag their bias and prejudices on to the world wide medium is not helping many of them. It's simply getting too easy for people to instantly see different sides to the same story, from different sources and determine for themselves what the truth probably is, and long the way, see just how who has been slanting what, how much and which way.
Smart businesses don't create market share for their competition, but a lot of businesses just don't get it. Most people want the choice of having creamer in their coffee. If one business doesn't offer the customer a choice, the customer will go with a business that does. If I want my facts with a left twist or a right twist, I'll look for it that way, but I never do. With the media, I want just the facts, no spin, no chaser. Any opinion should be left on the editorial page and not in the reporting, but few news media today do that. It might sound harsh, but clueless leadership is not just found in the banking and auto industries.
JC commented at 7/24/2009 1:23:00 PM:
The CD "a leftist paper with an agenda"? You guys are priceless. You wouldn't know a "leftist paper" if it bit you on the rear end.
Pablo commented at 7/24/2009 1:39:00 PM:
The publisher of the Clarion-Ledger doesn't "readily return phone calls"? Does he hide? What a joke that paper is.
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