Monday, November 21, 2011

Black Press - British Columbia - Bclocal Again


On Nov. 2, 2011 I sent the following message to bclocalnews.com:
Please check my blog and leave a comment explaining why your publication refuses to post my comments.
http://rosemary-jacobs.blogspot.com/2011/11/comments-british-columbian-publication.html
Do you pay writers like Brenda Gill to write for you? Does she pay you or do you publish her material for free so that she can promote her business?
Rosemary Jacobshttp://rosemaryjacobs.comhttp://www.webanstrich.de/rosemary/http://rosemary-jacobs.blogspot.com
The reason that I asked about their relationship with writers like Gill was because in order to send an email to the publication I had to fill out a form on the site that had a title called “subject” with a drop down menu with the following options:
placing an ad
placing a classified ad
placing an obit
promoting your business online
feedback to editor

I wondered about the one offering to promote one’s business online. Did that mean that for a fee they would publish promotional material you submitted as newspaper “articles”? Might it even include having a ghost writer, a newspaper “reporter”, write promotional material for you, material that they publish without clearly labeling it as advertising or stating that it is paid for? Or could it be that they want to publish your material free of charge to fill space and save money by not having to hire journalists to write for them? If that is the case, does an editor check the articles you write for accuracy the way the media claims they check stories filed by reporters? 

Although I never did get an answer to my question about their relationship with writers, I did receive this, sent on November 2, apparently right after my email had been received:
Hello Rosemary;
Unfortunately, the Disqus commenting engine will hold back any comments containing a hyperlink or URL. It this case, there were three links included in your comment. Although these three links are, in fact, value added, I'm sure you can appreciate that not all are. Black Press must keep this logic in place to ensure inappropriate web links do not make their way to its news sites. 
The moderation and approval of comments held from automatically posting - containing hyperlinks etc. - is usually done each morning, however, with limited staffing it often slips for a time. In your case, the comments had not been moderated for days. That is not acceptable by our standards, so we apologize. 
The comment in question has now been moderated for approval. We thank you for your contribution and continued support. 
Take care.-------------Black Press Web Producerwww.bclocalnews.com
True to his word, what he called the “comment in question” was posted when I checked, but since the other two were still not up, I sent him this:
On Nov 2, 2011, at 6:30 PM, Webeditor - Marco wrote:Unfortunately, the Disqus commenting engine will hold back any comments containing a hyperlink or URL. 
Thank you for your response. May I suggest that you note this about Disqus on your site. I use it often and have never noticed the problem before. Perhaps you have set it up differently than others? 
It this case, there were three links included in your comment. Although these three links are, in fact, value added, I'm sure you can appreciate that not all are. Black Press must keep this logic in place to ensure inappropriate web links do not make their way to its news sites.  
I assume you have had problems with hyperlinks that commentators have posted.  
The moderation and approval of comments held from automatically posting - containing hyperlinks etc. - is usually done each morning, however, with limited staffing it often slips for a time. In your case, the comments had not been moderated for days. That is not acceptable by our standards, so we apologize. 
The comment in question has now been moderated for approval. We thank you for your contribution and continued support.  
What about the comments that I made about these articles? They have not been posted either.http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/letters/128212283.htmlhttp://www.northshoreoutlook.com/business/116764229.htmlYou will find the comments here:http://rosemary-jacobs.blogspot.com/2011/09/british-colombia-naturopaths-and-local.html
Sorry I spelled Columbia in Spanish. I did go back and correct it but don't know how to change it in the URL. 
Take care.
If you do not decide to leave a comment on my blog, I will inform readers about this myself. Thanks again for getting back to me, especially so promptly, and for posting my comment. I believe that naturopaths put the public at great risk and want very badly to warn people of the danger so that they can review the material for themselves and make informed decisions about  their treatment options. http://rosemaryjacobs.com/naturopaths.html  
I never got another response from bclocalnews.com and as of today, November 21, 2011 they have not posted my other two comments. 

I find this highly deceptive on a site that loudly broadcasts itself as a news site. It seems to me that offering the option called “promote your business online”, which is only seen by those who try to contact the paper directly by email, is the equivalent of “the small print” people have traditionally been warned to look out for and scrutinize in contracts they were about to sign, the major difference being that the small print was included right beneath the large print and people were educated to read the entire contract, the large and the small print, whereas people have not yet been educated to search through all the pages on a website looking for important information not included on the pages the public generally looks at. 

Readers Beware. Just because a publication promotes itself as a newspaper doesn't mean that the material it publishes is reviewed for accuracy by editors, that the company employs fact checkers or that it posts comments that question the accuracy of the material writers present. 

Black Press, Brenda Gill, bclocalnews.com, deceptive journalism, deceptive newspapers, dangerous naturopaths, British Columbia, Canadian press

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