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Letters from the Publisher; Channel 6 Needs Better Standards

Letters

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Letters from the Publisher

Beth Laws — then, Beth Barmettler — became Style Weekly's editor six years ago. She was the magazine's third editor, following Sue Robinson Sain and the paper's founder, Lorna Wyckoff.

With Beth at the helm, Style increased its page count and its staff sharply, strengthened its reputation for journalism, and tackled a head-to-toe update of its design. It's surely not a coincidence that during Beth's tenure the magazine won the state's top journalism award, the Virginia Press Association sweepstakes, twice in three years.

Considering that track record, I am sad to report that Beth recently decided to take on a new challenge by joining Trigon as a media specialist. She and her cheerful personality will be deeply missed.

I am pleased, however, that Style's managing editor, Greg Weatherford, has agreed to take on the editorship.

Greg has worked as a reporter and editor at Style and its sister paper, Inside Business, since 1995. As a reporter, he has won a number of statewide journalism awards. As managing editor, Greg was invaluable in Style's win of its first statewide sweepstakes. He also has worked as a business reporter with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

I am confident that Greg can continue Style's evolution and honor its history of journalistic integrity. People turn to Style to learn the real stories about Richmond. And that's what Greg will continue.

Sara Fender

Publisher


Channel 6 Needs Better Standards

Channel 6's Mark Neerman claims that he is guided by "traditional news values" [cover story, June 12]. I have been laboring under the misconception that those include integrity, common sense and good taste.

In January, Channel 6 arrived at Barksdale Theatre to do a piece on the upcoming production of "Misfits." As one of the actors in the play, I was asked for an interview. Never mind that a former Richmonder wrote the award-winning play. Forget that the play's main characters were none other than Arthur Miller, Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe. The reporter wanted only to know what it was like to be nude onstage. Period.

Despite the fact that I tried to stress other aspects of the production, and our preparation, every question in the 10-minute interview concerned nudity. Worse, when it came time to film a snippet of the play to be used in the report, the reporter flat-out said that unless I took off my clothes for his camera the story would not be aired. "Frankly, that's the reason we're here," was his direct quote (heard by a roomful of people).

I refused to comply, so they shot the scene with me sewn into a blanket. They aired the clip at 6 p.m. with my body blurred to appear as if I was indeed nude. They then re-aired the story later that night and several times the next day.

This is "far more professional" than Channel 6 used to be? If I wanted to see stories about sex for sale, fake breasts on teen-agers or the burning issue of blonde vs. brunette, I would watch Jerry Springer. I don't, and I won't. Apparently, Channel 6's market share ratings reflect that many other potential viewers hold the same opinion I do of Channel 6's "flash."

Jeanne Boisineau

Clarification

Kay Landry, who was profiled in the July 31 issue as a concert promoter for Ashland Coffee & Tea, shares duties with B.J. Kocen, promotions manager for the café.

Correction

In last week's Letters column, Susan DeFazio was incorrectly identified. She is head of Prevent-A-Litter. Style regrets the

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