Only two people respond to The Union publisher’s editorial page challenge

Western Nevada County has about 60,000 residents, yet only two (0.00003333333) responded to Publisher Jim Hemig’s editorial page challenge to read, and rate, each opinion submission for the month of January.

And one of them was Jo Ann Rebane, an officer of Nevada County Republican Women Federated, the outfit that “audits” the commentary on The Union’s Op-Ed page. Jo Anne’s husband is hard-right political activist and blogger George Rebane.

The two disagreed on the slant of The Union, so Hemig thinks this somehow proves “The Union is the best place for community members to express their viewpoints and share their opinions with the rest of the community in a manner that is fair and balanced. You can’t get that in blogs, on the radio or in any other news websites in our community.”

No Jim (whose experience is not in publishing or reporting but information technology for newspapers), what it proves is that The Union is even more irrelevant than we thought. Only two people responded.

Perhaps if The Union applied the same standards to its Op-Ed page as The New York Times, it might drum up some more interest. As The Union’s own readership survey showed “Finally among the nearly 900 suggestions shared what The Union should change, many were focused on the ‘diatribes’ published on our opinion pages.”

I don’t think Jim or Editor Brian Hamilton are ever going to get it.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

12 thoughts on “Only two people respond to The Union publisher’s editorial page challenge”

  1. Memo to Michael R. Kesti: The publisher’s name is Jim “Hemig” not “Jim Henig.” Even if “fish” gave you an “A” grade, you just got a Medill “F” for your blogosphere “commentary.” A real substantive error, not a petty one. ROFLOL.

  2. I don’t take much stock in Jo Ann Rebane’s survey anyway. Letters she has written to the editor tells me she slants waaaay to the right.

  3. BTW, I read in The Union this morning that RL Crabb “worked at” The San Francisco Chronicle. I do not think he was ever employed by The Chronicle. Many people are rather loose with their facts around here, including the paid journalists. LOL.

  4. Jeff, “what is proves is” ? What’s with not proof reading? Please don’t criticize “Henig” when it should be “Heming.” Geez this petty nit picking is annoying.
    In Heming’s last editorial for 2015 he stated that be hoped the new year should bring better political discourse. I couldn’t hold back the sudden urge for a big belly laugh.
    I haven’t had the time of late to read The Union and when I do I don’t get around to the opinion section unless I know reasonable people have contributed. Otherwise I can get all the negative political discourse I want in my face every time I turn on my TV or my computer home screen comes up. Then there’s the public chance of hearing folks talk bad about their country, their neighbors, their friends. I got a big dose from 3 old ladies waiting in the box office line at the Del Oro the other day. Guess which movie they were seeing. The two men behind me couldn’t help overhearing too. They shook their heads at the same time I shook mine. In the last 3 months the public sphere has been the biggest voice of hate. Who needs to read it or watch it on TV.
    I think that Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next documentary is worthy of your time and consideration though.

  5. Hi Windy,
    Misspelling a person’s name is a Medill “F”; that’s more than just a typo or nitpicking. Yes, I saw the Michael Moore movie. I enjoyed it. Enjoy the President’s Day weekend.

    1. Still annoying, Jeff. Most people don’t know what that means but they do understand how electronic word processing and m and n being side by side on the keyboard can produce an accident.

  6. “fish” is becoming so unhinged he resorted to the “f” word. No, there were no errors on my mother’s memorial tribute. It is a lie perpetrated by a former publisher. In the meantime, go “fish.” LOL.

  7. I return to find the troll on Todd’s blog INSIST the the NC scooper article about me is “new,” even though the comments below it read “a year ago.” How is that possible? “You can’t fix stupid.”
    And then Michael R. Kesti, who can’t spell The Union publisher’s name. What a hoot!

  8. And this is typical of George Boardman logic: “Pelline is always urging KVMR and The Union to apply the same standards to their opinion features as The New York Times to improve the quality of their offerings. What he doesn’t bother to mention is that the Times has 19 full-time employees on its editorial board, who devote their time to the editorials, columns and opinion pieces that appear in the paper. The Union has just 11 full-time editorial employees while KVMR has a lot of volunteers. Is that a fair comparison? Of course not, but fair has nothing to do with it if it advances Jeffy’s agenda. Posted by: George Boardman | 12 February 2016 at 02:17 PM”

    What George fails to mention is that you don’t need 19 full-time employees to come up with an Op-Ed policy like the Times and manage the content.

    The Chronicle also has this policy: http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Some-notes-on-Letters-to-the-Editor-from-3681808.php

    George is just defending the right to be “stubbornly backward”!

  9. This column has been posted on The Union’s Facebook page all day, and it still has garnered zero “likes.” Just sayin’

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