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Has the Triplicate really changed?

Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – September 17, 2018 – For all of the local folks that have been deceived by the editorial penned by our illustrious editor of the Triplicate, Robin Fornoff, last
month claiming a new, more enlightened less restrictive approach to his editorial style surrounding future submissions to “Letters to the Editor” or “Coastal Voices” be prepared to be disappointed very quickly.  As they say, ” a leopard doesn’t change his spots” no matter
how much pressure he comes under.

In spite of the precipitous drop off of participation to the opinion
page over the last couple of years in the Triplicate to almost zero in
the way of local Letters on the opinion page and a new editor, Kim
Fowler, apparently  editor Fornoff hasn’t received the “Memo”, if there
ever was one.  The plea for participation will only work if you actually
mean it and more importantly follow through.  While there have been a
spate of recent Letters, and Coastal Voices appearing in the Triplicate,
most likely due to the decline of circulation numbers, don’t expect it
to continue unless you have the “proper” political perspective.
Similarly, if you have been banned in the past, don’t expect to have
your sentence commuted any time soon.

Editor Fornoff has not changed the way he does business.   He still
limits Letters to 300 words or less, even when he has naught but the
likes of John Alexander, John Wood, Will Meriwether locally or some
progressive columnist from out of the area entirely to fill the space.
He continues to limit local contributions to one per thirty days.  And
he has a rather convoluted way of determining what is acceptable in the
first place, unless it conforms to his particular view of the world.

While superficially he appears to be more even handed when it comes to
the actual “News” presented in the Triplicate of late, at least with
regard to an attempt to be more objective, do not be at all surprised if
it does not continue.  There is already a noticeable erosion as we have
come further from his August Mea Culpa.  While time will tell, I fully
expect the Editor to return to his previous style very shortly, if he
hasn’t already.

Below you will find a letter sent to Robin Fornoff on the 25th of August
this year, responding to his editorial “New simpler guidelines for
opinion submissions – Tell us what you think”  which appeared in the
August 16th version of the Triplicate.

> cc: K. Fowler

>
> While it is not necessary to publish this as part of this Letter, I
> think that the 300 word limit is and always will be a travesty. After
> all you aren’t limited to 300 words when you write a letter to your
> mother, and it is nearly impossible to correct the 1500-2000 word
> narratives that routinely appear in the Triplicate as objective news
> when you only have 300 words.   Just an observation.

It has now been 21 days since Editor Fornoff received the above letter
and it has yet to appear on the editorial page of the Triplicate in any
form.  No acknowledgement of receipt, or request to edit.  Nothing.
Not what one would expect from an Editor that has had several issues
published without a single Letter to the Editor.  Not what one would
expect from a truly professional newspaper editor no matter how much he
hated the content.  Now you can say what you will about this kind of
behavior, but it is fully in-line with how Robin Fornoff has conducted
business at the Triplicate since day one.  Being one of those that was
banned early on, this kind of juvenile behavior does not surprise me in
the least from the editor of the Triplicate and I fully expect him to
return to his previous incarnation sooner rather than later.   Perhaps
starting a subscription to the Triplicate or renewing an old one on the
basis of his August 16th editorial is a bit premature.  Mr. Fornoff
seems bent on dooming the Triplicate to obscurity.  Hope that Western
Communications can weather the decline until Mr. Fornoff is off to an
even smaller print paper.

5 Responses to Has the Triplicate really changed?

  1. Samuel Strait Reply

    September 17, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    My apologies to the Triplicate and Editor Fornoff. The letter being referred to did indeed appear in the August 28th issue of the Triplicate. As I do not subscribe to the print version of the Triplicate and only have access to the e-version, where it did not appear, I had no way of knowing it had in fact been printed.

    • Steelhead Reply

      September 30, 2018 at 9:55 am

      I subscribe to the online version of the Curry pilot, But I live in C.C. Why? Well I got tired of the Trip’s web site crashing on a regular basis, And I felt that Fornoff was curtailing the letters to the editor, And the paper wasn’t worth the money. Well here is a little secret. When you subscribe to one you get all 5 publications that Western Communications puts out. That includes the Triplicate. The difference is in the price. Since the Pilot only comes out 2 times a week it is $30 cheaper per year than the Trip. I just wish they would update their 1990’s format of their website.

  2. Mel Reply

    September 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    A radio show and free space on this site and your wind still out lengths your will to be heard? The press is not a puppet for an individual. Blogs and social media is for everyone and their daily rants.. the paper should be more selective. I don’t think the triplicate could afford to print the depth of your opinion.

  3. J Reply

    September 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Since both the Triplicate and the Curry Coastal Pilot have the same editor and publisher (and same owner), why is it that the Pilot has more local content for Curry County than the Triplicate has for Del Norte County? Also, why are there always 3-4 letters to the editor in the Pilot in every edition? The Pilot is a good example of a community newspaper.

    • Steelhead Reply

      September 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

      I have asked that very same question to Fornoff for which I got no response. The Pilot prints so many letters they are usually on 2 pages.

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