News & Criticism

Why Does E&P Hate Its Readers?


More specifically, what does Editor & Publisher have against putting links to the news stories it covers in the frickin' stories?

Something or someone pointed me to the E&P blurb Sen. McCain Calls 'Wash Post' Article on Him 'Worst Hit Job' Ever. Sounds like fun! McCain bitching on CNN about the WaPo. Great, I missed both. Where can I find those stories?

Well, damn good question. E&P evidently assumes readers want to poke around blindly. Or maybe this was just an oversight.

Next E&P story, please. Says here the WaPo ombudsman reamed out WaPo blogger William Arkin for his "mercenary" crack that sent right-wing blogs into orbit. Wow, I'd like to read..that..too. Where is it? E&P helpfully explains, "[t]he entire piece can be found at"

Gee, thanks folks, that's no oversight. And here I was planning on sniffing around the Boston Globe site.

E&P considers itself, and it yet remains, the flagship industry trade publication for the newspaper biz. For the publication to be so far out of step with standard practice on the wide-world Intertubes does make you wonder if The New York Times really will be publishing in five years.

Readers want choices and links and the ability to go as deep or as shallow as they want to on a given topic. E&P pretending that editors and publishers still make that call would be cute in the same way those stories about people mistaking computer mice for footswitches were cute 15 years ago. Except it is not 15 years ago, or even five years ago.

I, for one, won't be heading back to E&P for any of its coverage—it's too painful, like watching a wooly mammoth waddle into a tar pit. But I've helpfully included links for readers so inclined.

NEXT: Is There Power in a Unity 08?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Brian talked about that form of wackjob Libertarianism during his interview! Was the idea of some guy out west that your intellectual peoperty can not be given away, shared or copied even with your own concent.

    I think Steve Jobs subscribes to this one for colors and shapes that occur anyplace in or on his computers.

  2. Guy Montag-Huh?

    Jeff Taylor- I suspect it’s just part of the same E&P hubris that allows them to demand $99 for a year-long subscription. And that was with a “professional discount.”

  3. …like watching a wooly mammoth waddle into a tar pit.

    Jeff failed to inspire hate (or any other emotion) for E&P. But I do hope to use that phrase sometime soon.

  4. They don’t hate their readers.

    They just have any idea what they’re doing.

    I saw Ted Kennedy on local cable, and he referred to some groups, “er, ah, internet, er, um, web number.”

    The transition of media outlets into the internet age is being carried out by your elderly aunt, who can’t remember where the “a thingy” is when she want to send an “e-letter.”

    Be gentle.

  5. Guy Montag-Huh?

    In his new book Brian Doherty mentions a Libertarian pioneer who had an extreme view of intellectual property (called it something else). The idea was that your ideas are your own and you can not sell or license them to anybody and nobody else can use them or convey them to others once they heard them from you.

    This story reminded me about that. News stories that nobody is allowed to convey to anybody else, and worse.

    That reminded me of all of those “look and feel” lawsuits by Apple computer against anybody using a similar color as them in a computer case.

    That should cover it.

  6. Guy-Ok. But I’m not sure that it’s an IP issue with E&P. It could just be that E&P is weird.

  7. I had never heard of E&P until this post

  8. Jeff, who are you kidding? You’ll go back to E&P just like a battered spouse returns, always hoping that if you can just somehow love E&P enough, they’ll change, and this time it’ll be different.

  9. Seems like E&P can’t spell XML.

  10. Ken- E&P is very well known in the publishing world, but it’s a trade mag, so no one else has heard of it, or needs to.

  11. Wow, Guy Montag.

    Words such as “unclear” or “muddled” are often applied to writing such as yours above. But I think the best description in this case is “utterly incoherent.”

    Hint: People don’t intuitively know all the context and details involved with the thoughts racing around your mind. If you wish to sufficiently convey those thoughts, then, you will need to convey the context and details as well.

    A good writer anticipates questions, preempts confusion and explains the relationships between the ideas at hand. Otherwise he’s not communicating; he’s merely constructing sentences.

  12. A good writer anticipates questions, preempts confusion and explains the relationships between the ideas at hand. Otherwise he’s not communicating; he’s merely constructing sentences.

    If I were that good of a writer this would be my work rather than a distraction from it.

  13. By “good writer” I’m referring not to Hemingway but to the vast majority of Hit & Run commenters, whose posts manage to successfully convey their thoughts. These are the commenters who, for instance, don’t launch into a thread with references to unidentified “Brians” and mysterious “forms of Libertarianism” and baffling non sequiturs about “colors and shapes” that appear “in or on” Steve Jobs’ computers.

    It’s really not that difficult to do right, and it certainly doesn’t have to be work. The opposite approach is work, however — for all the readers, who waste time and energy trying to decipher the jumble of words you’ve plopped onto the page. It’s annoying. Annoying enough to prompt me to write all this, at least.

  14. The most charitable interpretation of what E&P does is that they have internalized extremely strict mores against deep-linking to other sites. They could also just be run by dolts.

    The Mises Blog has a fun page of links dealing with the life and thought of Andrew Joseph Galambos, the mystery libertarian all y’all are trying to remember. I hope it doesn’t violate Galambos’ primary property rights.


  15. kevrob,

    Seems that guy is farther out there than I thought.

  16. I was unaware anyone ever read E&P for anything other than the Help Wanted section.

  17. What’s “Editor & Publisher”? (too lazy to follow teh linkz)

  18. E&P’s failure to link is certainly irritating. But has anyone noticed that newspaper and television station sites in general tend not to tell you where they are? As in city and state?

    Visit WOAI and unless you get a banner ad identifying San Antonio, your main clue is the weather map of South Texas.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.