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And we thought our business model sucked.

In the Southeast Missourian:

Letters about candidates

Sunday, January 3, 2010

By Joe Sullivan

For years, the Southeast Missourian has had guidelines for letters that encouraged readers to submit their opinions on topics of general interest. Those guidelines discouraged letters about candidates for public office. A new policy, effective immediately, gives letter writers an option for expressing their opinions about candidates.

The new guidelines create a new category of letter called the Paid Election Letter. For a flat fee of $25, writers may endorse or oppose candidates — in up to 150 words. Longer Paid Election Letters will be considered, but each additional word over the 150 limit will cost 50 cents…

Which particular political party with close to unlimited resources and a history of utilizing astroturf do you think will benefit most from this policy?

The twitter on Twitter is interesting.

Chad Livengood, of the Springfield News-Leader:

Cape Girardeau newspaper (@semissourian) now requires $25 from readers for letters opposing/endorsing politicians. http://tiny.cc/6i1GQ    about 4 hours ago   from web  

Any letter to @semissourian attacking/praising a politician is limited to 150 words for $25. 50 cents more for every extra word.    about 4 hours ago   from web  

Would any #SGF News-Leader, #KC Star or #STL Post-Dispatch readers out there ever pay $25 for a 150-word candidate endorsement letter?    about 4 hours ago   from web

To which I replied:

@ChadLivengood “…pay $25 for a…candidate endorsement letter?” It’d be cheaper to start a blog, with the added benefit of more readers. half a minute ago from web in reply to ChadLivengood

Roy Temple weighed in:

Stupidest idea ever RT @ChadLivengood: @semissourian now requires $25 from readers for ltrs oppsng/endrsng politicians. http://tiny.cc/6i1GQ    about 4 hours ago   from UberTwitter  

Hastening their own irrelevance RT @ChadLivengood: What do people think of the @SeMissourian’s new fee for political letters?    about 4 hours ago   from UberTwitter  

The brilliance of the Southeast Missourian policy? I’d have to say the jury is still out…

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (r):

I charge $25 for my answer[ ]RT: @ChadLivengood What do #SEMO politicians, @PeterKinder think about @SEmissourian’s new political letters fee?    about 1 hour ago   from TwitterBerry