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E-mail exclusivity

We get e-mail by the hundreds every day. We get e-mail we don’t want. We also get a lot of e-mail from places where we sought it out, from governmental offices, corporations, sundry organizations. Some of it is useful stuff, and we’re glad to get it. (We also, may as well note it, use e-mail to deliver our weekly Digests.) We’ve seldom had much difficulty getting ourselves added to e-mail lists. Why should we? Costs nothing.

On the other hand David Frazier, of the Boise Guardian blog, recently got this in his mail, from the Boise Police Department:

Dave –

FYI – You are no longer on the “media” email list. The list is for media only. Feel free to call me at my desk on this or any other issue.

take care –


He wasn’t dropped from the list because he asked to be; he was dropped because, well, he evidently isn’t considered to be “media.” So here we go again: Someone who wants to limit the circle of communications so as to define someone as outside.

And apparently a growing list. Frazier wrote that “The Police and Fire departments have now fallen in line with the rest of Boise”s information manipulators in denying us access to routine announcements and updates. We don’t claim any special status since we really represent the public’s ‘right to know,’ but we should not suffer discrimination at the hands of our government either.”

Why the Boise agencies shouldn’t include anyone who asks for the public news releases – the point of which is supposed to be to disseminate information as broadly as possible – would be a good question. And, in this day of changing means of information delivery, more manageable anyway.

And the city may find it more time-effective if, as we’d suspect, Frazier’s response is to step up rather than ease back on his requests for information. One way or another.

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