Editor’s Notebook: February flotsam & jetsam
T.S. Eliot wrote that April is the cruelest month of all, but if I had a vote on the subject, I would opt for February. By February, it just seems that winter has stretched on to the point at which it should just stop. Chilly weather, snow… sure. But day after day of below zero temps and browning piles of snow should at least be balanced by days with a hint of spring. Yet, here we are, a stone’s throw from March. The one positive aspect is thinking ahead of warmer days so, so close. Lake days. Summer theater. The Fair. Those sunny days that make you just want to sit outside and absorb the rays without so much as a shiver.
Perchance to dream … it can’t be far off.
Some thoughts from around the newsroom this week.
This week we discovered some off-kilter third party with no connection to Minot Daily News (nor a connection to reality) has been pretending to work for us, or be on assignment for us, even going so far as to illegally create phony social media pages using our identifying icon. The woman’s purpose was to attempt to terrorize at least one regional business, using a phony identity, and because of malice, personal animus (and a big heaping helping of mental illness). It’s not the first time an unstable person, devoid of actual influence, has sought to play pretend in order to harass, stalk, or terrorize perfectly innocent people. It’s sadly not an uncommon ploy for the malicious and deranged in order to exaggerate their relevance to pursue an agenda that has nothing in the world to do with media.
Since I suspect others might encounter similar frauds, I thought it would be a good time to reiterate some basic guidelines for dealing with reporters – either MDN reporters or the nice folks from whom you might hear representing the regional news stations.
If someone claiming to be a journalist asks to speak to you, make sure to get a name and a clear understanding of the story in the works. Our staff members are listed on our website and most of us have been around long enough that if you are reading this, you will likely recognize the name. If you have any doubt, ask to call the reporter back. Call 857-1900 and ask to speak to that person. Any more concern, and call me directly at 857-1959 to confirm.
But you’ll probably be able to tell pretty quickly if it is a real reporter or an unstable fraud. If it’s one of my reporters or any real reporter, they will be polite and respectful. They will ask questions, not bully, berate or criticize you. They certainly won’t threaten to destroy your business. If someone claiming to be a reporter verbally assails you on the phone, then you are talking to a very sad, very ill little person. Hang up. Call the alleged news outlet and let us know there is criminal fraud underway. On behalf of all media outlets, I think it is fair to say that we don’t want to assist vindictive, possibly psychotic, frauds in the community pursue their own unstable agenda.
And we all know there are one or two out there by now. Be careful and call me with any concerns.
How amazing was it to see young Minot talent on display in Thursday’s Arts section of MDN with our profile of Chloe Marie? Just 16 years old, so talented, so charismatic, and one day we will all be able to say “we knew her when.”
All of our artist and handcraft artisan profiles are a joy, but I think we love most the ones we can feature on talented youngsters.
Hopefully, we will have more young people seeking exposure for their talent. It isn’t hard … all they need do is call or email me. MDN is strongly committed to supporting the ambitions of all of our creative people.
Good luck, Chloe! Remember us when you’re at your first Grammy’s show!
The End of an Era
This past week, we sadly reported on the upcoming closing of the delightful Home Sweet Home, a longtime icon in Minot. There was everything to love about this unique shop, from its focus on local products to the friends one inevitably made on any visit.
You will be remembered and you will be missed. And yet, we all somehow feel we will run into you up the road and it will be a joy.
Until next month, when hopefully that hint of spring has revealed itself…
Michael W. Sasser is the Editor of the Minot Daily News. He can be reached at msasser@minot-