Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jews Love: The Seattle Times

Poynter Online, the website for a journalism school that provides up to date information for journalists and aspiring writers, alike, posted an interview this morning with The Seattle Times executive editor David Boardman. For the past several days, Seattle has been inundated with rain and thousands were left without power. In an attempt to heat their homes with gas powered generators and grills, several people have died of carbon monoxide poisoning, including a Vietnamese family of five (one of whom survived and is in serious condition in the hosptial). In response, The Seattle Times published a paper with a warning about carbon monoxide poisoning written in six languages, on the front page, above the fold. Above and beyond expectations, they saved lives at their own expense. Instead of merely reporting the deaths as they unfolded, they saw it as their duty as journalists and citizens to prevent future incidence of carbon monoxide poisoning. I incourage you to read the thoughtful and thorough way that the Times approached this issue (hyperlinked above).

Boardman notes that the response has been overwhelmingly positive, but there have been those who objected to the paper's use of their space. Who would object to saving lives:

I should add, however, that we have heard from several readers who are angry that we would publish in a language other than English. I just took a call from one reader who cancelled his subscription, saying that if these people can't read English, tough.

Also, we're apparently being raked over the coals at the moment by conservative talk radio.
I'd like to stress, again, that the response has been overwhelmingly positive, so as to mediate my outrage at those heartless few who deserve those ad hominem attacks that I usually omit from this blog. Seriously, I am tempted to use every bad epithet that my mother forbade me from using during my childhood. Instead, let me just send out a "Huzzah!" to the Times and its crew. Congratulations on a job well done.

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