Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The end of the road?

An ominous email received yesterday.

Dear Mr Molloy, -- Is it right to assume that any letters from you which do not refer specifically to items in The Irish Times will also have been sent to the Irish Independent? -- Yours, Liam McAuley, Letters Editor, The Irish Times

I've sent the following reply, which hasn't produced any response:

Dear Liam,
In recent months that has regularly, though not universally, been the case. I read several papers daily, including the IT & Indo, and noticed that many letters page contributors had adopted this approach. Do you have a problem with this?
Regards, Peter

On 20th February I emailed this follow-up:

Dear Liam,
Caitriona Walsh has a letter on PDs/Tribunals in today’s IT & Indo. Ciaran MacAonghusa has his “Culture of Contentment” letter in today’s Indo - you published it on Saturday. David Sowby has a letter on nuclear power in today’s Indo, you had a one from him on The Red Cow last Saturday.
Yesterday, your Opinion page carried a piece on “God Save the Queen” by Gerald Morgan, a man whose letters I often see replicated in all three national broadsheets.
This is just a small sample from a couple of days to illustrate the point that letter writing is a fairly promiscuous activity - the writers want to be published and, if they can’t be confident of having their way with “madam“, they’ll also try some other ladies.
What I find interesting is the reactions I get from family, friends, acquaintances - it’s quite distinct audiences for the Times & the Indo - very few “ordinary” people seem to read both.
Regards, Peter

Footnote: On 21st Feb, the Irish Times published a letter - essentially my blog of 19th Feb "Thanking the Govt"

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