We’d get the phone call. “You promised a story.” We knew we’d been very careful not to do that. Instead, it was, “I’ll look into that” or “I’ll pass that along to the appropriate editor for a decision.”

My favorite was the caller who claimed to be good friends with the publisher, who had promised the coverage. Followed by our response, “You know she died twelve years ago?” And their embarrassed silence.

Of course, it’s not just stories.

People read into the most carefully crafted texts and then respond to only the parts they want to hear while tuning out the rest. Or they just plain tune out. It’s called the theory of cognitive dissonance. If they think you’re agreeing with them, they’ll bend the message their way. If they think you’re critical, they’ll shove you out altogether.

Often, all tripping over a tiny detail or two.


Oh, how I came to hate the telephone when I worked in the newsroom! If you want further proof, just go to my novel Hometown News.

Hometown News



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.