Dear esteemed members of the press,

Dear esteemed members of the press,

I am in the field collecting data and then will be attending a conference. I am not able to respond right now. Do not call my house phone. Do not pester my department. And do *NOT* hound my subletter. All press inquiries should be sent to press [at] When I can, I respond. When I can’t, I don’t. Do not use other email addresses – I check the press one from my phone and answer them in order when I have spare cycles. Other requests are typically ignored.

The BBC coverage of my blog essay is hugely problematic. If you want to discuss what I’ve written, please read the essay itself. This is not a formal report. This is a blog essay based on observations from the field. And this is not a 6-month study; it is a 4-year study with a tide shift that I’ve noticed in the last 6 months. Again, read the essay. At some point, I will turn this into a formal article, but this is not that. Cover it as you see fit, but do not call it a report.

Thank you,

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16 thoughts on “Dear esteemed members of the press,

  1. Mathew Sanders

    ::omg:: I’ve just read the BCC coverage… I can’t believe that the BBC accepts this to be published on their site. They must have pretty poor editorial standards… Not wasn’t a big BBC reader before this, but i did consider them to be a reasonably reputable source – not after this 🙁

  2. Sam Jackson

    I’ve seen some missteps from the BBC before, and as I was reading through my info-addicted level of feeds and continually seeing references to danah’s essay, I keep cringing more, and more, and more… it was like playing a game of telephone, you know, and the original message / interpretation got badly corrupted at some turns.

  3. daniel

    hi, danah, how are you?

    it’s probably a suggestion you’ve already thought of, but, instead of saying ‘read the essay’ (when the reinterpretation is causing you problems & many just /won’t/ read it anyway), why not post a press summary here that pulls out the key points *you* want covered & gives reporters a bio/couple of quotes that will assist you?


  4. Pete Jordan

    Having just read the BBC piece, I’m unsurprised – the post-Hutton BBC have lost what little journalistic integrity they had; they really are a tabloid organisation now.

    I fear you’re onto a loser with you appeal that visiting journos read your paper too: at best they’re under too much pressure, and the story is the distortion that the BBC produced. They’ve no interest in pursuing (let alone publishing) any more nuanced view.

  5. Will Warner

    I would have called them “misleading” rather than “problematic,” since “problematic” doesn’t make it clear that it’s their fault.

  6. Bertil

    – You shouldn’t say that all journalists are brain-dead Copy/Paste monkeys with the ethics of a Crack-head Sumatran Pirate; after all, it’s just the 99% of them who are whores that give the whole rest of the press a bad reputation. . .
    – Excuse-me sir, I bitterly resent that comment.
    – You are a journalist?
    – No, I’m a whore.

  7. Lee Henshaw

    Hello there,

    My name is Lee Henshaw and I am an author.

    Would you consider having a look at my blog?

    I’ve written a post titled ‘the English and the www dot’ that I’m trying to refine by inviting comments.

    Kind Regards,


    P.S I think Daniel makes an interesting point.

  8. Will Warner

    Mm, well, I wouldn’t say BBC is anywhere near rock bottom, despite this one appalling slip up in what was after all just a human interest fluff piece to them. They’re near the top, but they’re only human.

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