On July 10 I wrote about a new threat to Mic Barnette's weekly genealogy column in the Houston Chronicle, a major newspaper in southeastern Texas. The genealogy column that has run in the Houston Chronicle for the past 10 years was discontinued in June by the Chronicle when they conducted their, what seems to be, annual redesign of the newspaper. You can read that past article at http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2004/07/mic_barnettes_w.html
The following is an update written by Mic Barnette:
It has been five weeks since the column last ran in the Chronicle.
Readers like yourself have been writing emails to James Campbell the Reader Rep and Jessica Danes the editor over the Houston Section asking for the column to be resumed. I have received copies of many of them and have read some excellent letters sent to the two. No one to my knowledge has had any response at all from Danes.
In a reply email Friday July 23 to a reader Campbell indicated he had "repeatedly asked Ms. Danes and her superior for an explanation that I could provide to readers' request. As well, I have copied her on literally hundreds of emails to me asking about Mic's column. Perhaps sending an email to Editor Jeff Cohen would produce an explanation". This is good. We know they are getting our appeals to continue the column but those appeals are either not being answered or they are just being ignored. If the appeals are being considered At least no one has told us our questions are being considered.
(Jeff Cohen is the Executive Vice President/Editor and his email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is difficult to see but there is a dot between jeff and cohen and one between chron and com.)
I have been writing the column just over 10 years. On a personal level it has been nice not having to write the column for the past several weeks. It takes at least 8 to 10 hours per column each and every week to research, write and tweak. On the other hand I get a lot of enjoyment and self fulfillment writing the column especially when I read some of the nice letters many readers sent the Chronicle in support of it.
I have always tried to keep the readers informed about what is happening in the realm of genealogy in Houston as well as the US and the world. I have tried to educate the readers with book reviews , comments about records, websites and ethnic/cultural resources and event happens. Through the years I have received a lot of positive feedback from readers, authors and officers of genealogical societies about the effectiveness of the column and how it helped them.
I think it has been good, beneficial and even prestigious for the genealogical community in Houston and in Texas to have the column. I have sensed a heightened number of people reading the column since it began being included in the Houston Section. The Houston Chronicle for whatever reason does not seem to feel, nor have they ever understood there is an interest base in genealogy and I would hate to see us do without that venue of communication without putting up a good fight.
I thank each of you for your support now and in the past.
You can reach Mic Barnette at email@example.com