I went to talk to John Macone, the editor at the Newburyport Daily News about this whole being sued thing. (One more time, as a blogger, I am considered a “publisher” and can be sued.) And folks it’s really, really bad news. Everything I read about being sued turns out to be true. Bleh.
Apparently the Newburyport Daily News gets threatened with the “threatened to be sued stuff” at least once a week. The Newburyport Daily News?!? We are talking a small New England city newspaper. And Mr. Macone kept nodding his head “yes” at my complete disbelief.
And it gets worse. People can be sued for Letters to the Editor (how about that one,) fliers, petitions and even email lists. All of those things are considered “publications.” Make you a little ill? Makes me a little ill.
Apparently a lot of these lawsuits are “SLAPP suits - frivolous lawsuits designed to have a chilling effect on free speech,” a quote to me in an email from Robert Cox. (Now that I’ve done a tinsy-winsy bit of research I am now able to throw around the words like “SLAPP suit” like I have any idea at all what I’m actually talking about.)
And Tom Ryan is right in his latest edition of the Undertoad, October 27, 2006. People do tell me all sorts of stuff, and it becomes an incredible burden. I do NOT want to know this stuff.
If you have an issue that you feel would be important enough to tell me about, do NOT do it. Instead contact the Ulrika Gerth at the Newburyport Current or John Macone at the Newburyport Daily News. (I have a feeling if I know stuff and feel weighed down with it, Tom Ryan of the Undertoad knows thousands of more things than I do, and would really feel weighed down about all that stuff.) They are reporters, they want to know this stuff. They are trained journalists, not moi. I have a degree in Fine Arts for crying out loud.
Both of these papers want to know about relevant stories, yes, it is true. There was a story quite a while back before the idea of blogging ever entered my pretty little head. I went (like showed up in person) and talked with the Newburyport Daily News and they went with the story. They were great.
And Ulrika Gerth of the Newburyport Current is amazing. Talk about a “go to girl.” Wow. If I decide to keep on blogging (still a big question mark) you can be sure I’d do a whole lot of gushing about the guts of that young lady.
And the other person who is willing to be a “go to girl” is Sarah White. Yes, Sarah White of Save Our Town. But more importantly, Sarah White of the Newburyport Preservation Trust (NPT). The NPT has just sent out a flier and has a new website, www.nbptpreservationtrust.org . So if you want to get in touch with Sarah White about any of this development stuff, go to “Contact Us” on the NPT website.
The other thing is if you care about all this development stuff that’s happening in Newburyport, MA, join the Newburyport Preservation Trust for goodness sakes. They want to be on the front lines (bless them) and they are protected because they are a real deal non-profit organization (go check it out.)
So, to recap here. You got something on your mind, give the Newburyport Current, the Newburyport Daily News or the Newburyport Preservation Trust a jingle. It is up to them to let people know what’s going on. NOT me. (Can you tell I’m still pissed? See previous post.)