Friday, April 16, 2004

Spreading the word

For those of you editing (or reading) the editorial pages of newspapers and magazines, watch out for "pollutocrat," a word coined by a reader of online environmental magazine Grist in a contest last year.

The word didn't catch on like the magazine had hoped, so its contest this year is to spread the word: The Pollutocrats Must Not Prevail Letter to the Editor Contest.
This fabulous contest sets the readers of Grist on unprepared editors as unto sleeping villagers awakening to the baying of a pack of eco-hounds. The pollutocrats must not prevail, my hounds. We must spread the alarm to the electorate.
The contest seems innocent enough. But watch out for form letters, which are a no-no on editorial pages and seem encouraged by the contest's rules (emphasis mine):
Write and send one or more letters to the editor that use the word pollutocrat. The letter(s) can address the environmental issue of your choice -- national politics, local concerns, environmental justice, toxic chemicals, cars, whatever. The same letter or different letters may be sent to as many publications as you wish. Admissible publications include almost everything: newspapers, newsletters (e.g., of national organizations, hometown churches, schools), Internet publications (excluding blogs and other personal journals), radio, academic journals, magazines, etc.
Happy hunting!


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