Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

June 2, 2014

Professional media view social platforms through same lens

TAHLEQUAH — Several long-time readers of the Daily Press have recently expressed curiosity about our Facebook page and our Twitter account. Some already have online access and are familiar with our website, but most haven’t yet made the foray into social media. They wonder, what’s it all about? Would it benefit them to join up?

The answer is, yes and no. The Daily Press primarily uses its Facebook and Twitter media to link readers to stories on our website, and to let them know what’s coming up in our print and e-editions. But Twitter and Facebook are also interactive. Readers can participate in lively discussions about current events, offer helpful tips on various topics, and make story suggestions of their own. And because social media is “live,” they can get breaking local news more quickly than if they wait for the print or e-editions, although those will offer far more details. Many readers who do not subscribe, but buy the Press often from the racks, value our Facebook and website content updates. These notes help them decide whether to buy the next day’s edition. Of course, we hope all our readers will peruse our pages daily, but we understand that budget constraints prevent some folks from doing so.

But if there’s one thing we’d like to stress to online readers and interactive participants, it’s this: As a professional media organization, rather than a blog site or personal timeline of an individual, we are held to certain legal standards about “publication.” We believe this applies to our social media platforms as well as our print and e-editions.

Last week, we put up a link on Facebook to a news report about a former local school superintendent. Despite what a few people thought, this was, indeed, “news” that would interest our readers, who shared the link more than 50 times. A person who had a high profile while in Cherokee County, but who has since moved on, may still be worthy of ink – or bytes in the ethernet.

Unfortunately, the comments on this post degenerated quickly, as posters began to misspell foul words to get past the Facebook filters – and ultimately, we took it down. The Press employs a strong filter, because we want everyone to feel welcome on our timeline – and that includes young people and readers who do not appreciate profanity. Again, this is no different than the policies newspapers universally follow for their print editions, although a couple of posters did take exception to what they felt was our attempt to curtail their “free speech.”

There is a widespread misunderstanding that “freedom of speech” means a person can say anything he wants, in whatever forum he chooses. This simply is not true. And “freedom of the press” is for the media itself (i.e., the Press and other professional media, not individuals per se), which means we can generally post the truth without fear of government reprisal. But even the truth can invite legal trouble – if it’s found to invade the privacy of someone who’s not a public figure, or if it defames someone for no good reason. This is why “real” journalists distinguish between “news” and “gossip.”  A few media outlets have adopted a no-holds-barred approach to reader comments on digital platforms, but not only does this set up a hostile environment that repels many readers, it could be a catalyst for lawsuits. Therefore, when the occasional post becomes problematic, we may remove it.

We respect our Cherokee County friends and neighbors, and try to keep our eclectic reader base in mind when operating all of our available platforms. We invite you to avail yourself of all of them – and get involved!

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Editorials
  • Tourism Council and chamber should cut the proverbial cord

    They are defined by two separate purposes and operate under two distinctive sets of bylaws, but years of conflicting opinions have left lingering questions and confusion over the relationship between the decades-old Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and the younger Tahlequah Area Tourism Council.

    July 30, 2014

  • NSU needs to be more candid when its plans go awry

    Many area residents were disappointed to learn this week that the NSU Fitness Center, and its all-important indoor lap pool, won’t open next month, as originally announced.
    This latest delay is no surprise.

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher premiums a just reward for drunken drivers

    Over the past several years, Oklahoma has slipped in many of the polls that count. This week, we learned Tulsa is No. 4 on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents. Is anyone really surprised?

    July 25, 2014

  • Maybe it’s time to think about having another BalloonFest

    The 18th annual BalloonFest was the last one held, in 2010. In summer 2011, when the Daily Press staff hadn’t heard anything about the much-anticipated event, we started asking questions.

    July 23, 2014

  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
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