Readers Angry At Newspaper Over Columnist Decision

Note: The notes and letters below are verbatim copies of those sent either to Don Jordan or to the editor of the Herald-Times. A growing number of readers have cancelled their subscriptions to this newspaper.

Don,

I will miss your insightful and direct columns. The HT continues to try to take every bit of quality out of the paper. I don't know how it could get much worse! Maybe if they devoted even more space to entertainment! They certainly don't won't too much controversial or meaningful. I hope you continue to write for other news sources in Bloomington...I think you know what I mean.

Doug Davis 8/26/07

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To Bob (Zaltsberg, Editor of Bloomington Herald-Times),

I'm writing to express my dismay and disappointment that the H-T will be dropping Don Jordan's column. Both in terms of quality of writing and of substantive content, Jordan's column was, in my opinion, unsurpassed among the columns the paper runs, including those by nationally syndicated writers. His vita also indicates that there are few if any other folks working or writing for the H-T who are more qualified for their jobs.

Mr. Jordan's column was an important draw for me to the "Lifestyle" section of the paper. I would very much like to see the decision reversed to discontinue his column.

Sincerely,
John Clower 8/26/07

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Dear Mr. Jordan,

I am furious that Bob Zaltsburg and the H-T are discontinuing your column.
I have submitted a letter to the editor concerning such. I'm not an
outdoorsman, so it is not those topics that bring me to your column each
Sunday. It is the impact that idiot decisions within the state of Indiana
or even the feds and large, lobbying organizations make that so affect our
environment.

I despise what the H-T has become in the last 3 years and it's time for a
change.

I do hope that you get people to 'scream and yell' so that they reconsider.
It took months and months of such effort to bring back Peter Jacobi. I only
hope that there are enough environmentalists who yell as loudly as the
classical music followers in the community.

I wish you well and thank you for all these years of informed writing.

Meg Lindeman 8/26/07

***

Dear Don,

Although I'm not a hunter I appreciated your columns in the H.T. that alerted us to threats to the environment. Thanks for digging those stories out and bringing them to our attention. And thanks for sharing your deep love for the outdoors with the H.T. readers. I'm envious of all your outdoor adventures and travels. Now if you want to write about some real wildlife, how about them roller babes? Opps, my wife is looking over my shoulder...

Thanks,

Greg Haas

***

Don, I was sorry to read that your outspoken stance for conservation
has cost you your job at the Herald Times. I am not an sportswoman or
outdoorsman (hunter, or otherwise) but I do care about our
environment. I learned of the "canned hunts" in your column, and
can't belief that they will be allowed to continue. I hope you find
other ways to continue speaking out for your beliefs.


Sincerly, a reader in Mitchell, Indiana.

***

Your column is my favorite thing to read in the paper, however before I had a chance to read it this morning my brother called me with the bad news. I had to email you and tell you how I feel that you got the shaft and also how much I have appreciated and enjoyed your take on the many interests we share.


If my email address sounds familiar to you it's because I am the guy who told you to check out the BassPro website about their future plans to open the Clarksville store. You may remember putting the information off their website in a column before the store opened and you thanked Dr bluegill in your article, as I recall.


I'm so pissed that your not going to be in my Sunday paper anymore. I feel like I've lost a friend. Just yesterday I fished lake Griffy for 'gills of course, and I always give you credit for making me aware that the lake even existed. I live in Bedford and my brother and I attended your seminar at the Bedford public library some years ago. As a very serious panfisherman I have always been thankful for your deep respect and love of fishing for bluegill and redear. I too am friends with Mark Fish and frequently use his Fish-n-Spin lures.


Just so you know I haven't particularly enjoyed the new fellers writing. I'm also thinking of cancelling my subscription to the paper that I have bought for around 30 years. I read the "other" column today and told my wife I don't even like the guy's viewpoint on secret fishing holes. I made the mistake a time or two of telling someone else about my hotspot. Well I don't have to tell you that when I caught that same guy there fishing out my honeyhole with someone else I was pissed. This after all the time that went into locating a good place to catch monster 'gills and being told he would keep it to himself. I know if you would tell everyone where that secret little lake in Worthington is that you and Tony fish it would soon be fished out. What a moron to think it's fine for him to take others back to his friends honeyhole. What a stupid f------ article to write, not educational, nothing in it for an avid fisherman.


Well in closing I wanted say as always your article today was great and I think you did a fine job of saying just exactly what was needed to be said. Your editor probably don't know crap about the outdoors, and therefore don't realize how good your column was. He probably goes on those canned hunts (if his wife will let him). I'm gonna shut up now but feel free to forward this to your ex-employer if you so desire. My spelling and punctuation may not be totally correct but I don't have nearly the writing skills that you have. Damn, what a sad day, hope I can sleep. Good luck with all of your future endeavors. I'll check your website now and then or you can reply to me on the web if you are so inclined. Sincerely, Terry Deckard.

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Don,

I am disappointed that your column is ending. I was a devoted reader of your column for years. Your column shouldn't be the one thats put out to pasture.
Nature Trails by Mr. Allison has been a real disappointment to me in the last few years. Brandon Butler's column is okay if a person is solely devoted to fishing. I thought your column brought in all aspects of hunting and fishing. I was glad that you promoted the FISH-N-SPIN of my good buddy Mark Fish. You didn't have to that do that. Mark is just a small time operation, but he was proud of your endorsement. I had the pleasure of meeting you a couple of years ago when I waited on you at Marsh Pharmacy on Kinser Pike. I can tell you that this section of the Sunday paper will not be the same. I wish something could be done, but I'm sure the decision is final. I know you will be allright with your talented writing ability. I hope you have many more outdoor memories to share in the future. Take Care!

A Loyal Reader
Chris King 8/26/07

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Hi Don,

So they canned you. I can't believe it. You probably weren't Liberal enough in your views like a communist like Mike Lenard. This newspaper refuses to believe that conservatives and conservatism is NOT dying out just because Liberals are getting louder voices and more prominent in public media.

I would like the Bloomington audience to hear more about this. I would like to get you onto Outdoors Today. It is a one-hour call in radio hunting and fishing talk show on AM 1370 WGCL on Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 7pm put on by Buddy Bill of Buddy Bill's Bait Barn. They have a variety of guests anywhere of fishing guides to DNR, Sycamore Land Trust, Dept of Parks and Rec, etc.

I will be calling the show Tuesday night to ask their opinion of the paper dropping you and to ask them to have you on.

Will you be keeping this email address or is it newspaper related?

Ken 8/27/07

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Don,
I was schocked and saddend to hear of your leaving the HT. You have done a good service to outdoors and to the people who love it for many, many years! The concept of loyalty is unknown to some people.
Also sorry to hear of you being releived by a phone call and because of someone on the inside.
Good luck with your future endeavors. Hope to be reading you again soon somewhere.


Ken Hydinger 8/26/07

****

Don , although I never written I certainly had thought about it . Guess its to late now . However I wanted you to know I enjoyed your columns and wonder who will speak up for us who are the silent majority on the very issues that you fight for. Thanks for all you have done.........Jim Southerland. 8/26/07

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Hi Don,

I was really sorry to read your column yesterday and learn that it was your last for the H-T. You certainly are to be thanked for tackling so many important issues, from PCB contamination to "deer farming". I would hope that your well-informed and straight shooting pieces will continue to find an outlet via outdoor magazines, etc. Thanks for making the H-T much better over these many years.

See you.

Bob Meier, Bloomington 8/27/07

*****

Don--I was dismayed that the Hoosier Times let you go. And, it's especially gutless to do it by phone. Seems as though that's the way the world is going. Common courtesy and fair play are generally a thing of the past, gone with our parents' generation.

Rest assured that your " tell it like it is" reporting was refreshing and on target and that is how your readers will remember you. During my career, I learned early to build support for my work by joining forces with conservation organizations who could almost instantly barrage weak-kneed politicians and cowardly unelected "poiiticians" in the government with hundreds of letters and phone calls protesting against my being moved or fired for trying my best to "save the dirt." I loved it. And, I respected those organizations for being on the conservation frontlines. Still belong to 14 of them.

You "done good" old timer and I'm sure you will continue to do so in the future.

Happy hunting.


Dave Hudak (retired)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 8/27/07

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Dear Bob (Zaltsberg)-

It was a real disappointment to read yesterday about your decision to terminate Don Jordan's column. To me, Don's column was a real class act - there was no question about his commitment to the outdoors and to the preservation of same for future generations. Brandon's column is just a poor substitute - it's outdoorsman lite without the conscience.

I'd like you to reconsider your decision - if it's a matter of space or money, perhaps you could alternate the 2 columns on a weekly basis. It would be a real shame to squelch a true voice and advocate for the Southern Indiana outdoors. Please apply some creativity to bring Don's column back.

Thanks,

Peter Gould 8/27/0

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Bring back Don Jordan's Inside Outdoors column.


I don't have a problem with Brandon Butler's Fishing Report. I enjoyed the paper finally having a complete picture well-rounded outdoor section. Is it about money? Has Don finally passed the ropes and paid his dues and is finally worth a hefty price for his columns? Brandon has wonderful insights in his column, but Don generally kept us up to date on the state of wildlife, fishing, hunting, and regulations statewide as the state of outdoorsmanship in the state of Indiana.


We want Don back! Let's change the subject just a little. We recently had some kind of take over bid by a company to pump water from Lake Monroe to Indianapolis. They wanted to build a pipeline from the lake to Indianapolis. Lake Monroe is the largest lake in the state. So at about this time, the paper decides to drop giving us the lake level and water temperature from daily to once a week. You don't have room for these 15 words in the sunset picture below the weather.


Does the staff at the paper play video games when off work and never venture outside?


Ken McGlashan 8/29/07
Bloomington

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Don,

I was devastated to read your last column. Not because I will miss all that hunting and fishing info, I do neither, nor do I eat meat. But because it seems each day there is one less voice to speak for issues not somehow related to making a dollar – the lives of wild animals, the relationship between man and nature, the need for all of us (the whole world, no exceptions) to view each other with care and understanding. A lot of people ask me why I still believe that world peace is possible, it is because if I don’t believe then it truly is not possible. If I give up my hopes then I am condoning the fact that so many others have given up theirs.

I have to admit I had not really followed your column until I started reading about the appalling issue of canned hunting. After that I would always at least give it a glance to see what sort of anti-establishment cause you were supporting. I was proud to see our local newspaper supporting your column and always hoped to see more.

Don’t give up! Keep the hope alive!

Jane Safford Herr 9/1/07

Nashville, IN

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Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 3:35 PM
To: Bob Zaltsberg
Subject: Will miss Don Jordan's columns

Bob,

Sometimes it takes me a week to get through the Sunday paper, so it was not until today that I read Don Jordan’s column from last Sunday. He says that you have decided to discontinue his column and go with Brandon Butler instead. I have no specific complaints again Brandon Butler, but his columns just don’t keep my interest. I’m not a big outdoors-person, so I’m not always inclined to read any columns in the Outdoors section of the paper, yet almost every single time I begin one of Don Jordan’s columns, I finish it, because his style engages me and I learn some valuable things from his content. Again, I’m not trying to knock Brandon Butler, but I think you’re making a mistake to let Don Jordan go.

Yours,

Bruce Lilly, Bloomington

 

Copyright 2007. Donald Lee Jordan