That didn’t go over well: “1. Telling readers that, should they continue to ask you to cover an event, you will be less likely to cover it is hardly a stance most of us associate with what we thought The Weekly was all about… -and- 2. xoxo at the end of such a rant is unprofessional.”
UPDATE — Dan Gibson tells Romenesko readers:
First of all, I get it. It might have been better to not comment on the constant stream of identical posts spamming our wall asking if we’re going to cover that particular march. However, a few things in my defense. We’re an alt-weekly, so the interactions I (and our other writers) have with our readers (and other interested parties) are a little different than other media outlets. I regularly comment on our Facebook page, responding to both criticism and compliments. In this case, I was honestly trying to save the anti-Monsanto types the trouble of flooding us astroturf-style on Facebook (although I should note, I haven’t received a single email, phone call or press release about the event).
We went through this same issue (with many of the same people) during the brief run of the Occupy movement in town: A flood of demands that we report on every last thing that was happening because we were missing out on the opportunity to capture a moment in history, but then it was all over and nothing really changed (at least here).
I make an effort to be engaged with our readers and potential readers, but I do think it’s fair (and even helpful, believe it or not) to guide people who feel they have something to share on the best way to get their message across, even if I didn’t use the ideal style in delivering mine. Accessibility in our profession has its perils (and I am still somewhat befuddled why people are so darn mad, although I’ve noticed that those are most angry don’t appear to have “liked” our page to begin with), but I’d rather aim to be more open with our audience than remain at some arbitrarily aloof distance.