BROOKE GLADSTONE: And now for a few of your letters. They focus mostly on the issue of media transparency – ours, that is. On my conversation with Jason Calacanis, cofounder of Weblogs, over whether or not journalists should post their raw interviews on the Web, Samuel C. Blackman of Boston wrote that he was just about cheering out loud.
Quote, "I was recently burned by a newspaper reporter over comments made in my web blog, a web blog that deals with being a pediatric oncologist. I couldn't agree more with Jason's experience of feeling like the reporter was, quote, 'looking for the drama' instead of objectively reporting the contents of the interview." BOB GARFIELD: But Tim Lennon, of London, England, takes issue with Mr. Calicanis. He doesn't want to hear all the multiple versions of questions, unedited tape, and, quote, "all the other paraphernalia and what have you that goes into the show. What on earth would be then the point of listening to the show in the first place?
“Calicanis trusts OTM to edit properly and concisely, and so do I, which is why I so enjoyed the piece that followed about editing and production on radio. Not only was the piece interesting, but the timing was particularly apposite, as I've come to expect. BROOKE GLADSTONE: That piece about radio editing was by reporter John Solomon.
Marcia Spees of East Sound, Washington, writes, "Gasp! NPR edits its broadcasts. I would hope so. That's your job. Do you think a newspaper article prints verbatim from an interview? Subtly unethical, was the uneasy suggestion – putting one over on unsuspecting, trusting listeners. Poppycock! Anyone who's listened to years of public radio fund drives knows that it takes miles of tape to produce minutes of broadcast. That's where our dollars go.
“It's interesting to learn how the programs were put together, but deliver us from the naive angst of fear of manipulation. We can hear just fine between the lines out here." BOB GARFIELD: But Robert Moore, of New York City, said that all the editing is, quote, "a dangerous exercise. I'm sure that you are aware just how little needs to be changed in any phrase to change completely the meaning or the implication of what was said.
“Perhaps it would be more honest to make the statement after each program that editing of material in OTM has taken place, but only to improve the flow of dialogue, and the editors believe that the meaning of any remarks broadcast were not altered from what the speaker intended - or something like that.
“I think there was a lot of mistrust amongst the general public regarding what they learn from the media, so anything that can be done to reestablish some trust should be worthwhile."
Actually, we edited Mr. Moore's letter. And I don't think we changed the meaning. As always, we certainly tried not to, but I'm sure he'll tell us if we failed. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER] We want to hear from you, so keep those letters coming to firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]