Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Letters to the Editor - Suggestions

I'm sure that Dengre will write a reaction to Ferdie de la Torre's article in the Saipan Tribune today. What drives a man to set himself on fire? I'm sure Dengre has a few ideas and I'm sure he'll be sharing them with the world pretty soon. I'm interested to hear what he has to say.

I was also interested to learn that Dhimal has a daughter living on Saipan:

Babitra is the eldest of four children. Her mother is a plain housewife. The youngest is only in 8th grade. Except for Babitra, all the children and their mother are staying in Duhabi-4 Sunsari, Nepal.

She said that, although her father had encountered many Labor problems on Saipan, he still managed to support the family financially.

Babitra had already finished her second year in college in Nepal when her father arranged for her to come to Saipan in 2005. She started work at 99 Cents five months ago and became the breadwinner in the family when Dhimal became jobless for a year.
Did she really just say that she was supporting her unemployed father in Saipan and her mother and three siblings in Nepal on $3.05 an hour. How the hell is that possible?

She goes on to say that she wishes she could get some help from the community or the government. I believe Pam Brown is soliciting donations for Buddhi Lal Dhimal, but since I don't know Pam, I'm not going to endorse sending her money.

On a completely unrelated topic, what is up with CNMI Letter to the Editor (LTE) writers spelling out words in all capital letters? Is this some sort of literary device that they don't teach in Mainland schools? WTF?

I honestly love the Editorial page in both newspapers, they provide daily entertainment, but I really wish they would install some ground rules. Here, let me make a few suggestions (I'm not going to include using proper grammar in the suggestions, that should be a given):
  1. Limit the number of times you can submit an LTE in a year. Dr. Tudor has one today and he had one yesterday. Ambrose Bennett has one almost every other day. Most newspapers have a 60 day cooler period. If your letter gets published, you have to wait 60 days before they'll publish you again. We could cut that down to 30 or 15 days, because honestly, the people that write letter after letter after letter, don't really have anything to say. You might as well fill those pages with pictures of Britney Spears.
  2. Only accept letters from real people. Holani Smith does not exist. There is no such place as Nudibranch, KY. Don't publish letters from people that don't exist. If people don't want to attach their names to their letters, then let them publish their letters on the Internet.
  3. For Christ's sake, have a word limit. Most newspapers limit letters to 250 words or so. Sometimes they allow especially good or notable writers to submit a longer letter, but only on special occasions. Nobody reads those long diatribes against, well, who knows? Like I said, nobody reads them. You might as well fill your pages with pictures of Paris Hilton.
  4. Don't publish letters from crazy people. Do I really need to explain why? Do you need help figuring out who the crazy people are?
  5. Don't publish a letter after the other newspaper publishes it. Your readers, OK, well mostly me, hate reading the same letter a day or two after we read it in the other paper. If the other paper publishes it first, they win. Throw it out.

There, that's a good start. There may or there may not be more. Maybe this should become a regular feature? Five suggestions from the Saipan Blogger? What do you think?


AngrySicilian said...

Determining who is crazy sounds a bit arbitrary.. but then again you are on an island, you probably get to know the crazies pretty fast.

The Saipan Blogger said...

Let's start a list of the crazy people on Saipan:

1. Brad Ruszala

Jeffrey C. Turbitt said...

Ambrose's letters have gotten atrocious. I once found them amusing and sometimes relevant. I can't stand another reference to logic or common sense. Does he think he is Spock or Thomas Paine?

The Saipan Blogger said...

Chewbacca is a wookie. That makes no sense.

Speaking of overusing an argument, have you noticed how many of the Editorials proclaim, "I've been saying this for years."

That phrase, when used often, is one of the phrases that can guarantee that everyone thinks you are an asshole.

2. Absalon Waki Jr. (Crazy in a good way, unlike Brad, who is crazy in a bad way)

Missy said...

Letters to the editor is the one page I look forward to reading every day. They are indeed very entertaining. I had my first published today (yay me!). Hope I didn't break any of your rules. I usually first look at who wrote the letter and decide if I want to read it. There are a handful of people out there that are quite prolific in their LTE writing and I am sick of hearing what they have to say. And they may just be crazy.

: )

Sahuma Minagahet said...

Si Yu'us Ma'ase para i link! Esta hu pega iyo-mu gi i blog-hu.

bradinthesand said...

Can I add Brad Ruszala to the list twice?

The Saipan Blogger said...

Crazy Girls!

Saipan Writer said...

Too funny! And too true!

But on the first order of business, I think instead of cooling off periods (because sometimes someone like Tina Sablan comes along and posts letters several days in a row), there should just be a lifetime limit. And Ambrose has already reached his. (And I look at siggies first, too, and don't read letters based on who wrote them.)

As for posting in both newspapers, I'm in favor it it because there are people in the community who only get one paper, who pick it up after it's been read somewhere, who don't have internet access, or who don't read the paper every day (yes, I know, horrors, deprived, etc.)--and the rest of us can live with seeing a letter twice.

I strongly agree that letters from fake people should not be posted. The Variety used to have a requirement that you listed your name and village and they would call up to make sure you really wrote the letter. What happened to that?

But I also have to say that one of the fun things about our newspapers is that they will print anything--it's like a free for all forum. And people do read the letters. So those "crazies" who are constanty putting out their opinions--maybe they're not so crazy after all. Well crazy, but not stupid.