America’s Uncivil Phone Manners

Wednesday, I called the newsrooms of Pennsylvania’s two largest newspapers. All I got were disembodied voices telling me no one was available and to leave a message. It was 11 a.m., and I thought someone—anyone!—should have answered their phones. But, with publishers doing their best to “maximize profits” by cutting news coverage and reporters, I figured they either didn’t have anyone capable of answering a phone or figured no one would be calling with any news that day. So I left a message. It was a routine question, specific for each newspaper and related to verifying information from their papers for a book I was completing. I left another message the next day. I would have called individual assignment reporters, … Continue reading