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Issue of October 22, 2014
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Time to do something encouraging

My Opinion

March 12, 2014 | 09:22 AM

Live Wire. Those two words provoke either a "Love it" or "Hate it" response. There isn't much middle ground.

For those of you unfamiliar with Live Wire, that's the name of the anonymous call-in section of this newspaper. It was started many years ago as a way for readers to make comments about nearly any subject.

The newspaper staff had hoped it would generate news tips, which it has. We thought it would be a way for people to leave positive comments about others or businesses. And while it has been used for that, those types of calls tend to happen less and less.

Question of the Week
Have you ever made an anonymous call to Live Wire?
Mostly, people use it to make snide remarks about anything and anyone under the sun, leaving us to sort out what's true or, at least, is the opinion of the caller.

Don't misunderstand. We welcome the opinions of our readers. That's why Live Wire starts on the Opinions page. However, some callers will state their message so it sounds like fact when it's not. And, unless we know that what they're saying is true, that comment isn't going to make the cut.

Oh, yes, there are plenty of calls that don't get published for that reason, as well as others.

Some people also don't adhere to the "be brief and less than one minute" instruction that is printed at the top of the Live Wire comments each week. By keeping comments brief, more callers can have their opinions published each week.

And because calls are printed in the order they are received, we've had comments that have been held as many as two or three weeks before there was space to run them. Some were timely in nature and, therefore, came out after an event.

We have our frequent callers — you know who you are and, in some instances, we do, too — who apparently like to call just to stir things up or to see their comments in print.

Have any of you thought about how Live Wire reflects our community?

A few weeks ago, while at a workshop, one attendee told someone that they should watch what they say or they would wind up in Live Wire. Not being from the area, they were quickly educated about the call-in section. For the next few minutes, Live Wire became the topic of conversation rather than what we were there for. At least one person said they don't read that section of the paper.

I've been told by others that they don't read Live Wire. I also know of some who read it for the "entertainment" value. But, to those on the receiving end of a negative comment that the caller would most likely never say to their face, how is that entertaining?

When there is a problem with an employee or business, hopefully, you try going to the source first to make them aware of the situation. Often, the ones callers are complaining about don't know there's a problem. How can there be a resolution without that knowledge?

Matthew West's new song, "Do Something," is getting a lot of play time on the radio lately. While the message of the song is about more serious things, such as poverty and slavery, the lyrics can be applied to anything that you think needs changing:

So, I shook my fist at Heaven

Said, "God, why don't You do something?"

He said, "I did. I created you."

If not us, then who?

If not me and you

Right now, it's time for us to do something.

During the past few weeks, Judy O'Bannon and I have been asking for input from members of the community about how they'd like Harrison County to look in the future and what would it take to attract — and keep — residents.

I'd like to suggest that less negativity could help us with the image that Harrison County is a friendly place to live, which it truly is. So, let's see how many positive comments — whether they be directed to a specific person or business or to an unknown person or group — we can get in the Live Wire section in the next few weeks.

Perhaps knowing your name is in Live Wire will become welcomed news rather than something that instills fear.

  1. print email
    Take your own advice
    March 13, 2014 | 09:58 AM

    "Do something." Don't bemoan the fact that individuals leave negative comments about employees and businesses. Make it a policy that these comments won't be printed.

    Unfortunately, many people think that calling Live Wire is the proper way to handle their grievances. I'd bet they are loyal viewers of Jerry Springer, too.

    Entertaining? Absolutely. It is amazing how people are moved to comment on the amount of pepper on mashed potatoes at a local restaurant or the amount of playing time their kid at South Central elementary gets.

    I'd wager these people don't know the names of their congressmen or care to educate themselves about candidates and cast an informed vote in the next election.

  2. print email
    Take your own advice V.2
    March 13, 2014 | 02:35 PM

    Maybe parents would nt have to complain about how much playing time their child gets at SC, if while in elementary playing sports that the coaches are fair and teach all the kids the sport. They can not get better if you dont allow them "playing time". The coaches at SC elem. are "wanna b's" and it is all what who you are there. You have to have the right last name!! It is pathetic that a child wants to learn and be involved and all the coaches worry about is who that child's parent is. SC is the world's worst school about palying like this. I watched talented boys get cut over a coaches kid who couldnt even make it up and down the court. What are you showing these kids?? You are showing them how to be unfair and hurting their self esteem. It will never be at SC that soemone makes a team on ablitity but who youa are!!

  3. print email
    March 15, 2014 | 02:31 AM

    I like Live-Wire just the way it is... a great way to make a comment without having to write a letter-to-the-editor... although it's true that some call-ins are long winded and other, in my opinion, are just plain stupid, I appreciate the Editor for letting ANYONE have their say.

    ray wilson
  4. print email
    March 17, 2014 | 04:25 PM

    Who really cares??? If someone is going to base their opinion on what the Live Wire says about living in Corydon than maybe they have some bigger issues.

  5. print email
    March 17, 2014 | 06:56 PM

    Good words. May want to send a copy to as the court case was filed. The people of Spencer township. They could use it.

  6. print email
    March 18, 2014 | 10:56 AM

    You, as journalist, have a responsibility to your community for reporting facts not gossip. You set the tone of your paper. You have allowed this and are responsible.
    I find the paper to be too expensive and non factual. It's such a shame because I really enjoyed reading our little paper and always sent it to my kids when they were in college.
    You should remove this section all together and start practicing good journalism!

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