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The Washington Post’s public editor Patrick Pexton called on the Post’s staff to be more responsive and polite to readers who contact the newspaper – “even when the caller, or writer, is persistent or even unpleasant.”

Pexton noted that readers have complained to him about Post staff who are “arrogant, dismissive and unfriendly.”  Instead of acting that way, Pexton advised Post staff “turn that reader into a loyal fan” of the Post by addressing complaints or comments.

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He also advised that those readers contacting the Post be aware of the staff’s deadlines, responsibilities, and so forth.  He wrote:

“Given that, readers, it’s not practical to expect journalists to answer you promptly. You might have to call or write a second time. Most of them will screen your phone calls and return your call later. Be patient and be brief; don’t ramble. Leave your number and your e-mail address.”

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WaPo Public Editor Advises Staff on Responding to Reader Concerns

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