A journo’s complaint about websites

Joel Achenbach is touring college campuses with his daugher, and, no doubt, embarrassing her horribly. Here he rants memorably against a certain irritating habit of spokespeople:

…journalism [is] a field in which every query directed to a potential source draws the response, "You should look at our Web site." Many a time I have to tell people: I don't want to read your Web site, I want you to TELL ME WHAT'S GOING ON. I want you to use words, emitted from your mouth, directly to me, to onpass the information. I don't want to surf your incomprehensible Web site that won't actually tell me what I want to know and will leave out all the important stuff…You know? So don't ask me to read it anymore. TALK TO ME.

This message is best delivered face to face, I've noticed. Over the phone, not as effective. They can pull stunts on you, like hanging up suddenly, or, worse, putting you on hold, forever.

They're probably afraid of him. But it's true! Nothing is more irritating to a journalist than being told to look up something on the Web. It's like telling a cobbler he should consider the use of leather. 

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