Folks, below is a post I published on Jan. 27, Those Raleigh News & Observer's Stripper Ads, followed below the star line by comments Michelle Hillison, who self-IDs as a former N&O staffer, and I subsequently left at the Raleigh N&O's Editors' Blog.
Those Raleigh News & Observer Stripper Ads (posted 1/27/08)
At the Editors’ Blog, Raleigh N&O executive editor for news John Drescher recently posted Headline on target: Both Clintons v. Obama
To date Drescher’s post has drawn one comment. It’s from reader Michelle Hillison who posted on Jan. 23.
Hillison’s comment follows in full, after which I offer a comment and make a request.
To Editor Drescher - - -Folks, as of today, Jan. 26, Drescher has made no reply to Hillison.
This isn't about the post at hand but I was hoping you could address this either here or as a post - or direct me where to ask this.
I've worked in media for many years so I understand ads are necessary. I also understand the generic demographic for sports readers skews male so it sadly is the nature spot for the 'adult' entertainment ads.
While I don't like those ads, I fully understand why you take them and place them in sports.
However what I don't understand is days that you place them directly adjacent to high school sports coverage. I've seen it regularly and today was another example. There was a right side column on 7C with several HS stories that ended with an ad for a stripper.
I find that irresponsible. High school coverage draws young viewers and a photo of a porn star coming to town is not what those kids should have their attention drawn to in the paper.
In issues like this, I normally think this is falls (sic) parents to be the stewards of what their kids see but if the information is right next to it, there doesn't seem to be many options.
I accept you all are going to take the money for those adult ads and place them in the paper but I think the placement of them can be better managed. Is there an official policy in place about this? Or a rule of thumb?
I think the N&O overall should have as a policy that adult ads do not appear on a page with high school or younger sports coverage.
After reading Hillison’s comment, I decided to offer one myself.
Here it is, followed by a request to you:
Dear Editor Drescher:I encourage readers to leave comments for Drescher on his EB post here. You can also contact the N&O’s publisher Orage Quarles III --- firstname.lastname@example.org
Why does the N&O advertise strippers and “Men’s Clubs?”
Yesterday, Jan. 25, the N&O even placed one of its provocative and illustrated stripper ads ( "Casey Parker -- Live & uncensored for 4 nights & 1 incredible lunch show" ) right below stories about women's tennis and figure skating, and right beside an ad for UNC - Chapel Hill women's basketball.
You should answer Michelle Hillison's questions.
And you should answer my questions about the N&O's use of Mike Nifong as an anonymous source for the stories in which you trashed the Duke lacrosse players for hiring strippers and in other ways abetted the frame-up attempt.
Many readers wish the N&O would stop making money by advertising strippers and "Man's Clubs."
But if the N&O is going to solicit money from strippers and “Men’s Clubs," can’t you at least run the ads beside and below the editorials and your column?
That way high-school age and younger readers will be less apt to see them.
Think about it.
Thank you for reading this.
John in Carolina
Those of you who like twofers can leave a comment on Drescher’s post thread and paste the comment into your email to Quarles.
Comment from: michelle hillison [Visitor]
01/29/08 at 22:26
Wow John, finding your comments were a great surprise since I didn't find anything from Mr. Drescher. I don't know you but thanks a bunch.
Personally I'm saddened at this lack of response especially since I'm a former N&O employee. (I worked in new media and with sports from 97-00 and resigned on good terms).
I'm disappointed at no response.
Comment from: John in Carolina [Visitor]
01/31/08 at 17:20
I'd like to comment to both Editor Drescher and Michelle Hillison.
To Editor Drescher:
Nine days have passed and you still haven't explained why the N&O solicits and publishes stripper ads.
Why does the N&O do that?
And why does the N&O often place those ads next to sports stories, including high school sports stories, where young readers are most apt to see them?
In the past, you posted a lengthy explanation of how the ampersand came to be part of the N&O's logo.
So why won't you explain why the N&O solicits and publishes stripper ads?
Also, you still haven't said anything about Ruth Sheehan's disclosures concerning the N&O's use of Mike Nifong as an anonymous news source back when the N&O was telling readers Crystal Mangum was "the victim," trashing the lacrosse players as drunken racists, and in many other ways helping enable Nifong’s and others attempted frame-up of Duke students.
A number of journalists have told me you owe the public an explanation concerning what Sheehan has said.
You should be candid with readers and give us full explanations concerning both the N&O’s stripper ads and any use(s) the N&O made of Nifong as an anonymous source.
Thank you for reading this.
To Michelle Hillision,
I appreciate your nice words but they’re undeserved.
You’re the one who raised a very important issue in a civil and fact-based way.
That Editor Drescher has not replied is no reflection on you.
His silence reflects on him and the N&O.
Let’s hope our second round of comments prompt Drescher to provide full and frank answers to our questions.
John in Carolina