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Thanks for the suggestion about disclaimers on blogs. That's definitely worth considering.
Chris Cobler, perhaps an insert could be placed at the bottom of each blog. Stating that blog post and comments are not, necessarily the opinions of the Victoria Advocate and none of the content has been research as to its validity. It think you may get as to what I am leading too.
Opinionated bloggers, are attractive and tend to drum up readership, even among desenting viewpoints. Your problem, is corraling their words to pass as legitimate arguements; while maintaining their attractiveness.
I spoke online, on my old twitter page to your Castillo about this. I saw that newspapers would have to eventually sell content based on blog content; compared to traditionally paying for over all content, online. That a partition of information would be made available free, while the more "juice content" would be paid through an account. Readership would pay something like 20 dollars a month, and a nickel or something would be taken deducted for each "juice content" accessed.
This still, leaves you with having to place waviers at the bottom of every blog post.
Have a nice day.
The Advocate has a panel of editors that reviews reported posts and deletes those that violate our policy. Mike (whoever he is) and other users are not on this panel.
A common reason posts are deleted is for personal attacks on other users. Here's a link to our user policy:http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/user-...
I do have first hand information of what happened that night, however It's not that big deal. It's already over and done with.
If you have firsthand information of this incident, please call me to confirm at 361-574-1271. Our reporter based her account on talking to police and reading the report. Of course, our story didn't specify how long police were outside the restaurant, but I'm happy to discuss.
Hi,That's fine. We'll watch and see about who you are based on your actions. We have people critical of the Advocate all of the time and publish their comments on our Web site or through letters to the editor. When the attacks become personal toward anyone, including members of our staff, that becomes a violation of our policy.
All,I encourage everyone with specific questions to contact me or interactivity editor CJ Castillo. Our town hall is designed to examine the Internet credibility questions that affect the greater community, not necessarily problems particular people have with their individual posts or gripes about other posters. That wouldn't be useful to a general audience.
WOW I am shocked. Big J did have one comment on this thread, supporting zorro's statement (go figure). It is not there anymore, nor is there a spacemarker as though only the comment was deleted. Maybe the Advocate is wising up to the fact that only a certain small number of people are disruptive to this site.
If having two (and only two) comments removed equals banning, then I guess I am a banned person. I thought banning would prevent any posting. Both of those posts apparently were removed by myself though I never did so. I wrote and asked about what happened with the posts and no answer was forthcoming. What have I done to deserve banning when I've not had any real posts removed (except two under unexplained circumstances).
I understand your thinking on the "goon" comment though I disagree. He called TEA baggers goons and since I was at the TEA meeting, that is calling me a goon and I find it offensive.
I too find the Idea that I would seek to physically harm zorro 'rather laughable' as you put it. That does not change the fact that the statements are to quote your User Policy: "potentially slanderous or libelous comments".
Two individuals above all, zorro and Big J, have sought to harrass, annoy, stir trouble, and make accusations. and generally disruptive of this site. a large number of people complain about both of them yet they seem immune to any action from you. Why is that? Why are they immune from it. Don't say you don't do that because it is very clear to everyone that you do so.
Many say being critical of the Advocate is what will get you banned. So I guess if thats true, then I will be banned shortly. I have done nothing otherwise to warrant banning and to be accused of beeing a banned person is just as bad as zorro's accusations of me being of criminal intent. I find it highly offensive.
if I do something to warrant a post removal or ban, by all means do so. but make sure I ACTUALLY HAVE DONE something to be banned. You are holding this townhall meeting and others have stated it is a joke as the advocate won't stand for criticism. I guess we will see.
I am critical of the advocate in two ways. Reporting is often (not always but more than occasionally) sub-par and sensationalistic. We have had several headlines just recently that were sensationalistic and/or misleading by way of example.
Just on here you agreed with me that stakeout was wrong but standoff would be correct. I figured that to be a stretch but could go with that. Now with Negotiator's post, even that word is wrong. there was no standoff either.
the second area I am critical of the Advocate is your clear protection of certain individuals who clearly harass others, post inflamatory and untrue things about other users and are generally disruptive to the whole site. Something needs be done concerning zorro and others like him. but you won't, will you.
I am not a banned member but if I do get banned for this I garauntee I will come back again and again. for I have done nothing to deserve it other than to speak out concerning what I see as wrong.
Can you let the reporter know that Police were not outside the restaurant for an hour thinking about what to do. It was approximately fifteen minutes and they were waiting for the manager to arrive with a key so that they could make entry into the location through the front door. The offender made entry through a small hole in a window.
It's really not important, but just FYI
Perhaps I should abide by the saying to "let sleeping dogs lie" but I can't on this one. As farfetched as it might sound, I earnestly do believe my pesonal safety/property could be at risk if I atteneded the Advocate Town Hall meeting and I was to be unmasked, as in my true identity known. I don't think by and large that people attending will be risk, just myself and a few others who post in these forums. I think you underestimate the degree of animosity some few people have for me as a result of my online opinions. I won't be coming to the meeting but I did fill out the online survey honestly and without taking shots at the newspaper. I hope that serves in my stead. To be sure, there have been other times in local history when strong opinions were held by oposing sides. This time it feels different. The local political climate we find ourselves in today is unlike earlier times due to the fact that those with the biggest dogs in the fight have police power. That is a significant factor that should not be underestimated.
A bit of irony here is that we suspect you are a banned user who has returned under a new identity. I'm not trying to be antagonistic here, but in our experience we generally catch banned users because of how they behave upon their return to the site.
I have no problems with the question you raised about the police story. We disagree a bit on whether Zorro's comments are personal accusations directed toward you as an anonymous person on this site, or toward a general "they." Either way, I find the concerns about personal safety rather laughable, but that's just my opinion.
I try to avoid talking too much here about how we're handling specific people who post, but we certainly recognize those who skirt the line, warn them and sometimes ban them.
I take no responsobiliy for the jaundiced eyed view of my comments and my contribution to these forums. Nor will I claim for my own that which someone spins from my words. Misinterpreteting, and then changing and proclaiming what I have said into something wholly unrelated and then whinning, begging, and pleading, to have me banned from that fantasy, seems surreal to me. It does apprear to me however, that a full court press is on to get me banned, why? The case for banning me is as bogus and phony as a $3 bill, and the reasons cited for banning me is 100% fabricated and the figment of someone's imiganition. What is at issue here is that some fear my words carry a truth that they don't want told.
"Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?"
Hieyeque,Have you learned yet? Only CERTIAN people get banned and deleted on here while others are free to instigate, troll, insult, threaten and use racial slurs and "code words". Nothing is going to change no matter how much you complain. Just do what the rest of us do, ignore them.
Chris, I agree with you on the other points.
But in reference to zorro:He made a DIRECT INSINUATION that I PERSONALLY would seek to do him harm and or attempt to kill him
That is in NO WAY excusable on this or any other type of forum. He doesnt even know me nor I him other than his online posting, which ARE antagonistic and baiting. The sort of thing you claim to be trying to clean up yet the very people who you seem to be giving free reign to.
zorro: "HiEyeQue seeks to have me banned, and no telling what else, if I were to attend the Advocate Town Hall meeting. Thanks, but no thanks, I value my life, my liberty, and my family well being. I will not put myself or my family at risk by attending the meeting. If I had only myself to worry about I would risk becoming a martyr and attend"
What else would you assume he meant when he stated "or no telling what else" and that he "values his life" and "Does not want to be a martyr"
I see the problem with the Advocate as two-fold.
It is not a difference between online vs print.
it is a; lack of quality and integrity from certain reporters (not all) and b; a refusal to PROPERLY police the online content so that it becomes a haven for those who would ruin others online experiance.
You (The Advocate) have consistently allowed certain members to run amok in making all sorts of slanderous and even hostile comments whose sole purpose is to hurt or stir up others. Yet on the same hand you go heavy handed against others who do not do so but get fed up with the others. I have seen several regular commentors disappear either out of disgust for the online comments or banned from speaking out against these trolls.
I almost half expect that I will get banned soon because I spoke out against zorro and the advocates refusal to deal with him.
Mr. Cobler,Go back through many of zorros comments. you will find it to be true that he always has something negative to say and usually at the point of being nothing more than an instigator. To stir up trouble and to make others upset. this is the classic definition of an internet troll and is the very type of person that should be banned (not just comment deleted)
I am not the only one who feels this way. I have heard many others speaking out against zorro and his comments on just about every thread he posts on.
I would suggest right here and now, any of you reading this, please post here and make yourself heard concerning zorro and his antagonism.
Bottom line is everyone will still have their own opinion at the end of the day. People hear/see and believe only what they want to. Even if it is in some folks perception to be wrong. IMO there are groups of people in this town that stick together with their agenda right or wrong. They will stop at nothing to try and "brain wash" you into thinking their way is the right way and will crucify you if you do not jump aboard.
Zorro, with all due respect, get over yourself...
Hi,Back to your point about the standoff, I did talk with the reporter this afternoon. Her understanding is that police were outside the restaurant for about an hour deciding how to proceed against suspects inside. I would characterize that as a standoff, although certainly not one as dramatic as if suspects were holding hostages inside.
Again, I appreciate that your comments prompted us to have an important discussion with a reporter about the importance of precise word usage.
No doubt all who attend the Advocate Town Hall meeting will be safe while at the meeting. A 16-year-old boy was recently beaten to death on his way home from school in Chicago. The boy was entirely safe at his school, but getting there and back was the challenge. I beleive I am justified in saying that in the political climate I see in Victoria today, that I would be placed in jeapordy by attending the meeting and sharing my thoughts. Law enforcement has for a very long time used the catch phrase "I feared for my life" to justify use of force. Well, truth be told, I fear for my well being by attending the meeting and sharing my thoughts. I mean no disrespect to anyone by stating what I truthfully feel.
In regards to anything I have written, I don't think it is any where near as strident as what might be found and read daily on any opinion page of newpapers thoughout this great nation. I don't apologize for my choice of words and I darn sure don't apologize for the wrong interpertation of those words. I won't dignify the complaints by responding to them other than to say somebody wants to silence to me.
This is a good example of the good and bad of online posts. On the plus side, you raised a good point about news coverage. On the down side, such online conversations tend to deteriorate rapidly.
We left the comment about TEA Party "goons" because we saw it as a political statement rather than a personal accusation. I consider all such labels to be overly broad, regardless of political affiliation, but that's the nature of the beast, some might say.
I also don't know why anyone would be fearful to come to our town hall meeting, but that's a matter of opinion, I guess. Is it hyperbole to suggest harm might come to someone who attends? Even if it is, should we delete such a comment?
These are gray areas. I've been away from the Web for a while, so the discussion went on for a bit without me, which is typical. However, when I return and see how much the conversation has deteriorated, I wonder whether we should delete a few comments. If we do, of course, we'll be accused of censorship.
I look forward to discussing all of this at the town hall meeting.
Also note that he tries to defend his calling People Goons, in further instigation.
Perfect example here Chris.
zorro is outright being libelous now.
read these lines again.
"HiEyeQue seeks to have me banned, and no telling what else, if I were to attend the Advocate Town Hall meeting. Thanks, but no thanks, I value my life, my liberty, and my family well being. I will not put myself or my family at risk by attending the meeting. If I had only myself to worry about I would risk becoming a martyr and attend."
and no telling what else... I value my life.... dont want to be a martyr...
zorro has outright and wrongfully insinuated I would attempt to hurt or murder him.All I asked is why isnt he banned as he does nothing but stir trouble which this post of his proves me right!
Chris, are you going to let such horrible insinuations on other readers stand as to imply someone would commit murder?this is OUTRIGHT INSULTING!
FYI: It has been widely reported by numerous news agencies and national and local news outlets that small numbers of activist at TEA party rallies have operated in a goon like manner. I am merely relaying what I have seen on televison and in print as to what has occurred. To deny that goons have openly operated at TEA party functions is to deny the truth. I will not be coming to the town hall meeting for fear of the retribution I might personally suffer from voicing my different viewpoint.
I did a quick Google search and got multiple hits about the goon activity at TEA party events. I furnish this link as representative of many other similar news accounts. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/200...
The following quote from HiEyeQue about me speaks volumes "This man is antagonistic, rude, outright wrong, slanderous, and instigating, on just about every single topic and subject he comments on. I know he has been reported multiple multiple times. Why isn't he banned? I have never seen him contribute anything positive to the forums."
HiEyeQue seeks to have me banned, and no telling what else, if I were to attend the Advocate Town Hall meeting. Thanks, but no thanks, I value my life, my liberty, and my family well being. I will not put myself or my family at risk by attending the meeting. If I had only myself to worry about I would risk becoming a martyr and attend.
Chris,I will definately try to make the Town Hall meeting.I look forward to hearing others ideas as well.
on the point of attending Town Hall meetings though. Refer to zorro's comment.
I went to the Victoria TEA party as did many people.I HIGHLY RESENT being called a goon. And I am sure many others do too.Doesn't calling people goons, qualify as "namecalling"?
This man is antagonistic, rude, outright wrong, slanderous, and instigating, on just about every single topic and subject he comments on. I know he has been reported multiple multiple times. Why isn't he banned? I have never seen him contribute anything positive to the forums.
Again, looking forward to meeting you and others at the Town Hall.
I see your point about the use of "standoff." I'll talk with the reporter when she's in later today about her understanding of this situation.
In terms of our fact-checking process, that starts, of course, with the reporters. They go directly to sources for the best available information. All stories are edited by at least two other people on our local desk and copy desk. Whenever we have an error resulting in a correction, we require an explanation from all involved so that we may stop and examine what went wrong and how we might change our procedures to reduce the likelihood of repeating that particular mistake.
In my opinion, we've raised our standards in this area. Of course, the ultimate test every day is what we produce.
I'd be happy to talk with you more personally about this important issue. I'll buy the coffee if you want to call me at 361-574-1271. Or I hope to see you at the town hall meeting Oct. 20.
Thanks again for the discussion.
Chris,Thank you for responding. But even "Standoff" would be the wrong word in this situation. there was no standoff. Police were simply setting up a perimeter so as to search for a suspect expected to be hiding nearby. A "standoff" would be like if a gunman was holed up in a known location and the police were negotiating with him to give up and/or take him down.
This was simply a search for a suspect. nothing more. Using words like Stakeout and even Standoff is sensationalistic and does not convey the truth of the matter.
To address the rest of your comment concerning mistakes and corrections. That's a very 'safe' answer you gave and is part and parcel for any newspaper. It goes without saying. The problem I see and quite a few others as well goes beyond that however.
Advocate seems to have (not intentional I am sure) a policy of not doing any factchecking BEFORE they go to print and rely instead on readers calling in corrections. Sort of an "Better to ask forgiveness than permission" doctrine.
Every Newspaper will make mistakes now and then.Every Newspaper will correct mistakes that are found.
Advocate is rapidly becoming the 'Microsoft' of the newspaper world. Microsoft is well known for rushing a program to market knowing full well there are bugs, relying on customer complaints to discover and correct the bugs.
Just as Advocate does not do an adequate job of fact checking and proofing before going to print, relying on reader complaints to discover errors.
You are right. Every newspaper makes mistakes.Advocate however is rife with them. Thats far more than than the inevitable mistakes bound to happen. It is symptomatic of a problem endemic in the paper
Thanks, Bobby. He and I had a constructive e-mail exchange about his thoughtful comments. I'll share here what I wrote to him:
I agree completely that accuracy is a huge component of credibility. Every spelling error or grammatical gaffe chips at our credibility. We can and should do better.
Where we disagree is how the Web site differs from our print product. I maintain a Web site is much different from the printed product. If readers want it to be exactly the same, we have the e-edition available now. If readers want the site, though, to take advantage of what the medium offers -- namely interactivity, immediacy and multimedia -- we have to do some things differently. We certainly can get better at producing these new features, but we shouldn't settle for doing online only what we've always done in print.
PART 2 of 2
With that being said, you can indeed produce an online edition which meets with both the approval and trust of the general public. To do so, however, would require clean, precise and professional presentation and in-depth writing by qualified, experienced staffers who possess the journalistic integrity to get the job done properly, not to mention editors with both the fortitude to improve and the restraint to preserve what the reporters have written.
As a public draw, you could actually keep the discussion forums – perhaps accessed via a link at the bottom of the page. Set up better and in categorical format, readers could still present and discuss their personal views in the appropriate forums. But it would definitely require the elimination of those elementary-level blogs, the tweets, the twits, low-quality videos, the reader-submitted “articles” and the free-for-all photo posting, particularly the back-of-the head, cell-phone generated stadium shots, which have no place in real-world journalism, contribute nothing to the content or quality and may even qualify as the biggest waste of bandwidth to date.
In essence, you’d have to transform the Advocate back into a newspaper...
However, if the Advocate elects to allow some free reign to current editor Chris Cobler, the completion of that task may not be too far beyond the distant horizon. -----
As an aside, I'll add the following:
The interactivity of the online version is a major draw and attracts readers who otherwise wouldn't pick up a paper, but one when considers the content in whole, achieving credibility in that environment will never come to full fruition – and is probably too much to hope for anyway.
And, I’m certain the revenue generated by the ads in the online version is crucial, particularly in this current economy.
I guess what I am trying to say is that credibility in the print versus online version is an apples-to-oranges comparison and thus should be weighted accordingly -- and that it’s not worth losing any sleep over.
PART 1 of 2 (I guess there's a word limit here):
Credibility begins in the trenches, and among those with significant industry experience and insight, the Advocate hasn’t scored very high marks for a number of years. That assessment isn’t necessarily limited in scope to the accuracy of information or the dissemination of facts, either.
From questionable judgment in the decision-making process to significant content miscues and glaring oversights, the Advocate has also suffered from an array of lesser-recognized but daily-documented problems: grammatical, spelling, structural and usage errors in both articles and headlines. And while these problems have been around for some time now, they have become much more prevalent in the past decade.
No one expects a perfect edition, but one which reads cleanly and one which doesn’t prompt the uncapping of a red pen would certainly lend itself to helping with credibility issues. After all, if the Advocate can’t even get simple items correct, how can one realistically expect the Advocate to correctly handle critical issues?
Like noted earlier, credibility begins in the trenches. Begin at the bottom, right the ship and then set sail to clean up more critical areas.
Performing at high levels in the workplace is contagious and spawns productive competition. But if you settle for mediocrity as a final result, things will never improve enough to make a difference in the public’s eye – and that applies to BOTH the print and on-line editions.
With the online edition, keep in mind that acceptable credibility will never be achieved as long as the content reads much more like a social gathering place than an actual media outlet. Yes, you may appease a portion of the audience – the most vocal bloggers not withstanding – and even garner an approval rating with the local soap box stars. But among those who are actually capable of a critical evaluation, true credibility will never be achieved.
Here's a thought....shouldn't facts be corroborated and checked before printing, so that corrections are not necessary?
They print what they want to. There are errors in the paper daily. They are scared to go after real news and bring up dirt on elected officials.
Is there a word or character limit? I've tried posting some comments to this thread several times now, but in each instance, I am repeatedly redirected to the "preview" screen (and yes, I clicked on "post a comment").
Thanks in advance...
One of the pleasant surprises I received upon moving to Victoria 5+ years ago was the quality of the Advocate. Given the limited resources available to a small-town paper, I think you are doing a commendable job. FYI, this comes from someone who, over the years, has had home delivery of the Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and the Wall Street Journal.
We have corrected the story on line.A correction will be on Page A2 in the print edition on Thursday.Thank you for bringing this to our attention.Becky Cooper
Hi,We certainly make mistakes. Our policy is to correct or clarify any errors of fact brought to our attention. I encourage everyone to call or email if you see an error. In the one example you cite, I will check with the reporter. It does appear as if "standoff" might have been the word we should have used rather than "stakeout." if that's so, we will correct the online version and publish a correction. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Definition of Journalism.
To the Advocate staff, journalism and sensationalism is one and the same.
Just look at this article for further proof of concepthttp://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/...
Headline is : TEENS ARRESTED AFTER POLICE STAKEOUT
Sounds soooo dramatic!but then you read the article and guess what? There is NO STAKEOUT!
Police RESPOND to a Burglary. Then, knowing a suspect fled and is likely still hiding nearby, they cordon off the area for search until the suspect is found. That is not a stakeout!
A stakeout would have been if the police had a tip that a burglary was going to happen and they were hiding nearby to observe the business and witnessed the burglars enter.
Using stakeout was one of two things.either;a) the reporter had no clue what a stakeout wasor;b) the reporter used the word stakeout for sensationalism
and no... the writer of this article is NOT the reporter I talked about above. jut a recent example of Advocate quality
Most of the articles that are wrong however mostly have to do with accidents/incidents, vehicle wrecks, and other dangers to the community where the police and or Fire/EMS respond. The reporter that usually covers those topics always gets many if not most details wrong. Oftentime very large and obvious details.
by way of examples:referring to an accident driver as a drunk driver when no alcohol was involved
getting the name of the shooter wrong when police had to shoot a dangerous dog (pit bull)
who was at fault in an accident, listing the wrong person at fault
even what street and which direction vehicles are/were travelling
and much much moreNot much journalistic integrity
The main thrust of this whole topic seems to be online VS print, as to the status of trust and respectability.
Sadly thats not the case or the problem that is going on locally with the Victoria Advocate.
There is no difference between online and print. Where the problem lies is within the paper itself and its editors and reporters. In local stories done by local reporters and not some AP wire source, much of what is reported is in error. Sometimes it is a minor point, othertimes it borders on libelous. I have heard through several sources that the reasons behind the leaving of several "old hands" in the newspaper has nothing to do with age and time to retire, but out of disgust at what is going on in-house at the paper.
How often have readers here online witnessed many a complaint about certain "instigators" who get free reign yet others get shut down for little or no reason?
about how some get deleted without cause, and others dont get deleted even in view of obvious violations of policy.
Overall, I put much greater faith on reporter submitted articles than reader submitted articles. but in the case of our local paper, there is not much difference in the integrity of reporter vice reader submissions.
The one biggest story of all that showcases what I am speaking of is the Oprah Winfrey scandal. Granted this is an extreme example, but it illustrates the sort of quality that is in a large percentage of all local stories.
I won't name names but there is one particular reporter that (while not the only one) is responsible for the most erroneous reports. This reporter's beat is such that requires the greatest reqirement for accuracy and yet seems the least capable of it. Errors in this person's articles have lead to much online argument and debates in the online versions as the truth comes to light from those who were involved in the incorrectly reported stories.
You may view results of the survey at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com/survey. There, you also may take an online version of the survey. We hope you will join us at the town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 20. A survey can yield only so much information. A face-to-face discussion can be much more satisfying and enlightening.
As an added bonus, our generous co-hosts, UHV, will be providing light refereshments. UHV's talented new professor, Macarena Hernandez, will be moderating the discussion. I will present a summary of the results and be available to answer any questions.
Again, hope to see you there.
. . . and where does one view this survey, or comment on it?
Let me go out on limb here and make a prediction. Your town hall meeting will be hijacked by TEA party goons. Past is prologue.
This is a load........since when does the VA care about the truth? If it looks good in print, then it will get printed - even if it's not true or hurts someone!