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Old March 2nd, 2006, 02:28 PM
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Conners Conners is offline
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Angry The MEDIA Dictates the News

We had our first Legal Fund Raising Event Bow-A-Thon her in London and
what a great day and a huge sucess it was. People opened their hearts
and wallets and we can't wait for a next one to be put on here in
London.
Emily had the hardest time trying to get media to coverage and went to
them all. Rogers finally agreed and and was there for the whole event
taping and doing interviews. We were told it would be on Monday at 5
and 5:30. It didn't air, so we bombarded them with emails acting why.
They gave a whole bunch of excuses, but finally said it was because
they didn't want to be bombarded with emails of victims of dog attacks.
Since the responsible owners and their dogs have been victims of the
BSL even before the law took place, we were upset and told them so,
saying they only showed the negative and who were they to tell the
public what was news and what wasn't.
They finally broke down and said it would be aired tonight a 5 and
again at 5:30. I wouldn't doubt if it isn't in it's entirety, but we
will get our spot. What a bunch of bull to go through to get our
voices heard.
Then in The Londoner, I had written and they totally turned it around
to sound like I didn't want Pit bulls of any kind in London.
Here's my original I sent them and then what they wrote.

My original letter to The Londoner

In response to `Column was confusing' written by Ethel Fielding of
London, I can see she reads, but does not research what she reads. She
wants all her answers in black and white before her.
Does it matter what type of dog "lunged through a screen door" at her
son on Halloween? The owner knew there would be children coming to
their door that evening and no matter what type of dog it was, if
having any aggressive tendencies, whether it be a small dog or large,
should have been put somewhere to keep children safe. How her son
fared is only natural to imagine, he was scared. Is that not enough?
Have you been around the area of Dundas and Ghent? Probably not as you
will find it filled with drug dealers, prostitutes and I certainly
would not be around that area at night as well as avoid it during the
day. This may not be the area Van Veen was speaking of, but it's one
of the worst in London. These dogs are used for their protection or
the protection of the illegal drugs, weapons and perhaps some property
of people that have been robbed.
These same people are above the law in their eyes. They didn't
register their dogs or do any of the requirements of the bylaw or law
in Ontario or these dogs would not be abandoned with any micro
chipping to find their owners.
These people hold no bond to their dogs. They would rather abandon
them then risk the penalties involved. Shall I spell it out to you? Up
to $10,000 find and/or up to 6 months in jail. I further question "Pit
bulls are not available so what breed is she talking about?" Have you
not heard of underground breeding? Surprise, but they are still doing
it now even after the ban. If you would like to know where I received
my information, my friend and I were walking our dogs and a truck with
3 young men stopped and asked if I would want to breed my dog. I was
shocked and outraged and told them she was spayed and there was a Pit
bull Ban in effect in Ontario. That being said, meant they must have
had an unaltered male or more that they were searching for females to
breed with.
Does everything have to be spelt out for you? Surely you can easily
check out the court case challenge if you so wanted to. Does Yvette
Van Veen have to give you every detail to satisfy your needs?
"Breed identification is a problem, but personally I would prefer no
pit bull-type breeds in London even if it does mean some uncertainty
about breeds." Yes, you have your rights to your preferences, as do
owners of dogs that prefer certain breeds and those breeds do NOT have
to concur to your preferences.
"Do they think it would cost any less to fight owners in court than it
does to keep certain breeds off the street in the first place?" Pit
bulls and Pit Bull look-alikes are not required off the streets of
London. Under the law, they are allowed on the streets just as you and
I are, but the owners must comply with the law, which is having them
muzzled and the required leash length to do so. If you can find
information that states they are not allowed to walk in public, please
inform us as this is news to us.
"Finally we are told, "there are cases where a pit bull-type dog has
been attacked by an off-leash aggressive dog. The pit bull has been
put down and the other dog is still out there." Would she please tell
us which cases these are and where they are being heard." Is the only
paper you read, The Londoner? While a fine paper it is, you should
also watch the news! Read your papers, local and otherwise. I've seen
them. Why haven't you?
C.D. London

Now this was their version of my letter.

Ban all pit bull types

In response to the letter, Column Was Confusing written by Ethel
Fielding of London (Feb. 22 issue), I can see she reads but does not
research what she reads. She wants all her answers in black and white
before her.
Does it matter what type of dog lunged through a screen door at the
columnist's son on Halloween? The owner knew there would be children
coming to their door that evening and no matter what type of dog it
was, if it had any aggressive tendencies it should have been put
somewhere to keep children safe. How the boy fared is only natural to
imagine, he was scared. Is that not enough?
Has the letter writer been around the area of Dundas and Ghent?
Probably not as she would find it filled with drug dealers and
prostitutes. I certainly would not be around that area at night and I
avoid it during the day. This may not be the area pet columnist Yvette
Van Veen was speaking of, but it's one of the worst in London. These
dogs are used for their protection or the protection of the illegal
drugs, weapons and perhaps some property of people that have been
robbed.
These same people are above the law in their eyes. They didn't
register their dogs or do any of the requirements of the law.
The letter writer suggested pit bulls are not available because they
are banned. Surprise, people are still doing it now even after the
ban. My friend and I were walking our dogs and a truck with three
young men stopped and asked if I would want to breed my dog. I was
shocked and told them she was spayed and there was a pit bull ban in
effect in Ontario. They must have had an unaltered male and were
searching for females to breed it with.
Breed identification is a problem, but personally I would prefer no
pit bull type breeds in London even if it does mean some uncertainty
about breeds.
C.D., London

I was too angry to write them last night as my body was vibrating, so
today I will approach the situation much better, but they will
definately hear from me and insist they put my letter as it should
have been with an appology for turning it around.
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  #2  
Old March 2nd, 2006, 03:41 PM
Rick C Rick C is offline
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The letter writing policy of The Londoner:

http://www.thelondoner.ca/letters/policy.htm

Your version of the letter is 3,523 characters in length, including spaces.

Their version of the letter is 1810 characters in length, including spaces.

The main story on their front page in their latest issue is 5,733 characters in length including spaces.

The average primary story appears to be about 2000 to 2500 characters, including spaces.

Frankly, I'm amazed they even printed the second version. Most newspapers reserve the right to edit a letter for space purposes or to reject it altogether because of space or any reason frankly.

I might have suggested one of two things: 1) Keeping your letter to the editor short and concise to get all of YOUR words printed OR 2) asking them if you could have written a guest column on the topic to get more space if you feel your message required it.

By writing to the length you did, you set yourself up for having a version different than your intent making it into print . . . . that doesn't make it right, but some of the blame does fall on yourself.

You'll note I didn't comment on the veracity of the message you were trying to deliver . . . . . just the mechanics of how you were trying to do it and the difficulties it presented on the other side.

The percentage chances of getting a letter into a newspaper go up astronomically if you're economical with your words and to the point.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 03:56 PM
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lezzpezz lezzpezz is offline
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good points Rick C....

I too live in London and can say for a fact that the Londoner rarely follows their own letter length guidelines. This has actually been wonderful for folks that write in, as there have actually been letters that have taken up 3 columns and drifted onto following pages! The paper usually accomodates any letter writer, regardless of length of prose, and is very open minded.

This was a blatant case of chopping it up and twisting it to another viewpoint altogether.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 04:27 PM
Rick C Rick C is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lezzpezz
This was a blatant case of chopping it up and twisting it to another viewpoint altogether.
I doubt if they give a flying frak frankly. Its not important enough to bother with.

Someone just breezed through it to shorten it up and didn't read it closely enough. That's probably as deep as it gets.

Hey, if the author feels agrieved then call the editor and tell him/her the intent of the letter was altered beyond the original message and that you demand a do-over. Upon more careful review, you'd probably get it.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick C
I doubt if they give a flying frak frankly. Its not important enough to bother with. ]


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick C
Hey, if the author feels agrieved then call the editor and tell him/her the intent of the letter was altered beyond the original message and that you demand a do-over. Upon more careful review, you'd probably get it.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca
Pardon me Rick, but frankly I DO think it is enough to bother about. I happen to be fighting against the BSL legislation and don't want myself 'tarnished' with the ignorance of people who can't or don't care about the truth being told.
And I do intend on having them state my opinion correctly and in the way it was intended.
That was a chop and hack job to change the whole perspective of what I was saying. They have written much longer letters than that many times over. It's not their right to change what the writers opinion is. To crop is one thing, but to twist words and sentences to a whole new meaning is another. That's why they are called 'opinions'. If they couldn't have done so, they shouldn't have used my letter.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 07:44 PM
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They certainly have the right to edit, every newspaper does, but it's a damn poor job. You could throw a fit and maybe get justice but in the end, it's their paper, you might end up being even more misunderstood.
If there are any of those freebie papers in London (for all I know the Londoner is a freebie; I never see the press from Southern Ontario), they are often looking for copy to prop up their ads and you could get a 'real' article published. I'm guessing their editing isn't quite as stringent either.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 08:49 PM
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Conners Conners is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger
They certainly have the right to edit, every newspaper does, but it's a damn poor job. You could throw a fit and maybe get justice but in the end, it's their paper, you might end up being even more misunderstood.
If there are any of those freebie papers in London (for all I know the Londoner is a freebie; I never see the press from Southern Ontario), they are often looking for copy to prop up their ads and you could get a 'real' article published. I'm guessing their editing isn't quite as stringent either.
The Londoner is a freebie copy and they have never to my knowledge cut articles before. I have written before and never had it cropped.
I understand they have the right to edit, please don't misunderstand me about that. What I'm saying is that does not give them the right to misrepresent my opinion. If that were the case, nobody would voice their opinions.
It isn't difficult to see I was using quotes around the other writers comments that I was voicing my references to. The last statement was hers, yet they removed the quotation marks as if it was mine, along with the head line they added to it.
Personally the importance of me posting this on the forum is not whether they are justified or not. I posted this more for the purpose of Londoners that read The Londoner to know where I stand on this and it certainly in not what was portrayed in the paper.
As far as The Londoner is concerned, I will be dealing with them but I am NOT against the Pit bull breeds and have a beautiful American Pit Bull Terrier who just graduated with her Canine Good Neighbour certificate. She works as my Service Dog although because of her breed, I can not get her certified. That's all the importance that I wanted to make known.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 09:42 PM
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This goes out to Rick. I appologize for misunderstanding your responce.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 10:12 PM
Rick C Rick C is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conners
Pardon me Rick, but frankly I DO think it is enough to bother about. .
Where did I say it wasn't important . . . . to YOU?

You misunderstood my post.

You implied the person chopping up your overly flowery letter had a personal agenda, one that contradicted your own.

I said the more probable answer is the person responsible likely didn't give a flying frak one way or the other and simply engaged an attempt to shorten it or at least render the message readable . . . . as they were probably asked to do by a superior . . . . . and to be frank, I've read your first letter a few times and found your message difficult to discern.

Secondly, I very clearly said if it was important to you, that you should call the editor, say you were misrepresented and ask that you be given a second chance to set the record straight since it was their re-write which you felt got "off-message."

In other words, I agreed with your sentence I quoted above.

Third, just a suggestion if you want it - ignore it if you don't - if you do get a second chance, keep it short and simple, use some paragraphs and write as though the person reading it is unaware of the issue you are talking about. Just because you feel the paper will publish a lengthy essay doesn't mean you are getting your point across easier than something shorter that will keep the attention of the reader.

Lastly, you may feel that your issue is a vitally important one, but not all may feel that way. A newspaper owes you nothing and there is no entitlement of coverage. That's where you lobby your point to get attention, as you appear to have done with the television station.

It isn't difficult to see I was using quotes around the other writers comments that I was voicing my references to. The last statement was hers, yet they removed the quotation marks as if it was mine, along with the head line they added to it.

In its original form, it's a confusing letter and that's because of the multiple quotations, lack of paragraphing, etc. Many, many moons ago, I was a city editor for a daily newspaper sooooo, from that base of experience, I'm just saying I can see how someone would blow through it and leave it looking like something else, particularly if they were busy or near deadline. Don't give someone a reason to do that . . . . communicate your message more clearly the first time.

Again, I'm not commenting on your argument. I'm commenting on how you communicated your argument.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 10:45 PM
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Rick, please read post above yours.
To everybody...I didn't post this for advice or discussion. If you'd like to discuss between yourself, that's fine.
I wanted all that were on here from London to know my position as it's important to me not to be labeled a Pit bull Hater when in fact I love all breeds and particularly my own who is an American Pit Bull Terrier that I couldn't love anymore that I already do. THAT is what matters to me and that's all I have left to say on this subject.
The rest will be settled tomorrow.
Thanx
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 04:36 AM
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CyberKitten CyberKitten is offline
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I am sorry you had so much trouble Connors but as someone whose family owns newspapers and as someone who writes and edits, I have to agree with Rick. Most often, news agencies do not have a particular agenda - but they only have so much space so they (we I suppose, lol) have to cut down and economize our words. That applies ro editorial writers too - not just ltter wtriters so one has to find the best possible way to say what you mean in a coherant, clear and short way.

There are many ways to get publicity andperhaps your orgh could target simeone with experience in the media to assist you? Writing for TV or radio is yet again different than it is for newspapers. I myself have seen good letters end up in the round file because they rambled - I have also attempted to cut down letters and have them not souding good and not having time to fix it, just left it. Please don't blame te media - they did not write the law. Some of them support it I suppse (I;d have to read each of the newspapers and other cols to know who) but I do not know who. I just don't think they are on the govt side. Often imn gact, newspaper writers are contraian just to ask questions.

The BSL issue is a complicated one for its opponents to win - and you need to find innovative media savvy ways to compete with the stories of children and seniors being attacked by dogs owned by bad owners. Most ppl are not like us - they do not understand the issue at all. Even many animal ppl thinjk the ban is good believe it or not. So it is an uphill battles but one that can be won if you fo,llow what places like Cincinnati did - use the financial stats for example.

For a long time as an eenvironmentalists, I cited all sorts of medical data that confused ppl - until I realizeed I needed to talk to them so they understood - terll them why it is important to them, why the BSL law is mpre expensive and does not work. The emotion will not work for your side - it works or the other because the other side so to speka has cornered that market tho I re woulsd still show examples of pittis who are great dogs and the hstory of the breed.

Good luck!!!
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Thank you CyberKitten for understanding and explaining. I did find out what the problem was and it was my quotations. The Mac picks up the quotations unlike a PC and that's why my story got completely turned around. Now I know never to use Quotation marks in my letters should I ever decide to write again. LOL
I'm glad they are going to correct my letter. To me that means the world!
We had the hardest time getting media coverage for or Legal Fund Raiser event. Rogers TV finally agreed to cover us and told us we would be on Monday at 5 and again at 5:30PM.
When it didn't air, many of us emailed and asked why it wasn't on. This was our first even held in London and it was a hude success. We received form emails back stating there was only limited space and they took the most important first.
Naturally when we compared our emails and our responces, we saw they were all the same no matter what was written. So we wrote back explaining that the positive side was necessary to be heard because all the public heard was the negative. Again we received, again form letters stating that our even was too close to the Toronto incident with the police horse. For one it was a Bull Mastiff that attacked the horse and the Pit bull was unmuzzled, another case of irresponsible ownership that we are trying to stop.
The truth finally case out that the story was not being shown as they did not want to be bombarded with victims of bite attacks. We told them we also are victims of the BSL along with our dogs. Because the public only hears what the media puts out, it's necessary for the other siide (the positive side) to be heard. We are against irresponsible owners of ALL breeds and fighting for amendments to the law to educate children, parents, dog owners, the general public, and service workers. If a dog can not be properly maintained, contained and trained, that owner has no right to be a dog owner as they are the dogs that are doing the damage due to the owners.
In all the newspaper articles that you read of attacks, the owner is never present. A mother leaves her child with the dog for only 10 minutes and upone arrival see's the dog sitting there and the child needing stitches. Where was the mother that she could not hear screams of a child and the growling and barking of the dog? This could have been prevented had the mother taken her child for the 10 minutes she says she was away.
A 16 year old boy watched and gave police statement that his 6 year old brother continually was jumping on the dogs back. The dog finally got mad and bit the boy. What I'd like to know is why the 16 year old did not stop the youngster from jumping on the dog? If the 16 year old was not responsible enough, he should not have been left alone with the child and the dog. Another case of human neglegence and the list goes on and on.
There are always two victims. The person attacked and the dog. The irresponsible owner used to walk away free, but thankfully that is one part of the law I agree with to a point, is the irresponsible owner gets fined or jailed.
Unfortunately, that same law can back fire due to human error and dogs are being put on the distroy order needlessly. An example is a overly friendly pup that has not been taught his manners yet. His nail scratches a person enough to break the skin and because he is a Pit bull, a distroy order is put on him.
Because of the ban, people tease the dogs trying to get a reaction out of them. We are no longer able to socialize our dogs properly which is important for ALL dogs. Shasta has her CGN put out by the CKC and I plan on continueing her education as once we win what we are fighting for, I will finally be able to get her certified as my Service Dog, which right now as the law stands, a banned and restricted dog can not be a certified.
Because of cognative problems, I may not be able to write briefly how other people can. I write what is in my mind and in my heart. I'm not a professional writter in any way and never claimed to be and if I write flowery letters, than I suppose I have a flowery mind.
But CyberKitten, you have taught me a very important lesson about letter writing to the newspapers. Should I write again, I will have someone without any brain disfunctia proof read it first.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 03:03 PM
Rick C Rick C is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conners
Rick, please read post above yours.
Thanx
No problem.

Glad you got it straightened out with the editor.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 09:51 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Am I nuts or is this part (from the second version):
Quote:
Breed identification is a problem, but personally I would prefer no
pit bull type breeds in London even if it does mean some uncertainty
about breeds.
not your words in the first version?
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Old May 19th, 2006, 09:35 PM
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I Love The Bullie Breeds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prin
Am I nuts or is this part (from the second version):
not your words in the first version?
Not at all!!! I was replying to what a woman had written the week prior. I was using her quotations as references to what I was answering to.
If Shasta is an American Pit bull Terrier and I live in London and don't plan on leaving, why for heaven sake would I want Pit bulls gone?!
I fought at City Hall for them.
I'm a member of the DLCC, AFTU and LDOA. Doesn't that show that I am FOR the bullies and NOT against them.
Doesn't matter. Anyone who knows me knows the truth, so that's all that matters. I mean, my web site is all about promoting a positive image of the bullies and so is my blog. Shasta has her Dogster doing the same thing along with her Frappr and her own group.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 10:13 PM
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Ohhhh, now conners I of all people know your a passionate advocate of the "pit bull" but I couldnt figure out what was going on with that post either.....the Quotes were missing.....! Now it makes total sense! That must have been sooo frustrating for you!
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Old May 19th, 2006, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babyrocky1
Ohhhh, now conners I of all people know your a passionate advocate of the "pit bull" but I couldnt figure out what was going on with that post either.....the Quotes were missing.....! Now it makes total sense! That must have been sooo frustrating for you!
LOL Frustrating doesn't even come close to how I felt.

It was almost as hair raising as what the past 4 days in court were like and waiting for Steve's summaries. I bit 5 out of 10 nails off. Any longer and I might have gone to my toes.
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