As a minor party in Canada, life is tough, we have limited funds and resources and have to nearly exclusively rely on word of mouth. To help raise awareness of our party, and to help spread the message of what we do, we send out press releases to about 500 different papers and journalists across Canada.
Most of the time, these go unanswered and unreported on. It happens, we are a minor party and these papers have topics that will appeal to the mainstream more and sell more papers. Many of the independent papers are great, and we have great relationships with them like the Georgia Straight and Rabble.ca. We never fault a paper for not carrying our releases, we just keep pushing them out and hoping one catches a reporters eye.
Today, however, we got a letter back from an editor (regarding our DRM HTML press release) that I thought was important to share:
Your concept of property rights is flawed. Grossly flawed. Please
remove this email address from your spam list.
Vern Faulkner, Editor
Saint Croix Courier/Courier Weekend
Phone: (506) 466-3220 ext. 1307
fax: (506) 466-9950
cell: (506) 467-5203
Also, check out our FACEBOOK site!
I replied back within minutes of recieving this email, assuming that the editor thought that we were just another group of people spamming every email they can find to support their ideology (in my pirate inbox I get about 4 a week like this). I wrote back, trying to show that our press release didn’t really cover intellectual property and trying to show how DRM inside HTML hurts web openness and makes web browsing for people using browsers with accessibility options more difficult. However, his reply ignored everything and simply demanded we not send him another press release.
Having one less email in our mailing list is fine just opens one more free spot on mailchimp for another editor who might be interested in what we have to say. However, in a functioning democracy I believe it is important to hear all opinions. We approve comments on our blog which are negative, but we open that door for discussion because we want to hear from you, and moreover we want to reply to the concerns.
It seems like the people of the Saint Croix region in New Brunswick don’t get that chance, the opinions they get to read are whatever Mr Faulkner decide fits his own agenda. I don’t think this is what Democracy looks like.