Marcy Burstiner makes a few interesting points regarding newspapers and the Internet ("Media Maven," June 5). I agree that newspapers could identify net links for patrons who have computer access and would like to learn more about a topic, and that, certainly, Internet news services could liberally use net links for those already hooked into Internet news.
However, her premise that tracking stories most frequently queried on news websites is an accurate gauge of what people want to read uses faulty logic. Tracking Internet query patterns gives information solely about some Internet users. Extrapolations of that data to the general population can be misleading. After all, there are still many millions of US citizens who have little to no access to computers. And there are millions, like myself, who have access and use the Internet regularly, but not for reading the news.
I also disagree with her statements that imply that producing material that readers want to read (i.e., stories on Tyra Banks or Bev's big fish) is more important than the actual art of journalism, piquing a reader's curiosity on topics that might not normally interest them, but are very important nevertheless (i.e. world politics, economics, humanitarian issues, etc.). Journalistic integrity cannot, and should not, be thrown out the window simply because "Enquiring minds want to know." We already have plenty of tabloid rags available to read; newspapers should not emulate USA Today or People Magazine.
Kathy Marshall, Arcata
Sweet Spot:*Three great letters, one tough choice. We flipped the coin and Kathy Marshall came up heads — she wins a Bon Boniere sundae for sending the lucky letter of the week.*