Newsletter December 2018

Publicity in the Media

Report by Nicholas Reed, Press Officer to WNM

You may remember that back in June, there was some correspondence in the Online lsle of Thanet News. Two of their writers discussed the arguments about Manston, for and against. They asked for readers’ comments, and within less than a day, announced that public opinion was massively against! We know that is totally untypical of opinion polls locally, which normally find about 80% of locals being in favour. When the online news realised their poll could not be true, they apologised. Reputable polling agencies show how strongly people feel that a re-established Manston will create several hundred local jobs within a few months of restarting.

More recently, we have been looking at the website which describes the Airport on Wikipedia. You may be aware that our society receives a brief mention in the Wikipedia article on Manston Airport.  In the History section “Decline” 1.6, it currently reads,

On 31 July 2012 a pressure group ‘Why Not Manston?’ was formed, aiming to support greater use of Manston airport.[citation needed]

To replace the words “Citation needed”, I logged in and suggested an alternative:

“On 31 July 2012 a pressure group ‘Why Not Manston?’ was formed, aiming to support greater use of Manston Airport. {See, Newsletter No 1}  Its Committee and members attended several events later that year. On 15th February 2013, it held its Inaugural General Meeting at the Airport, and adopted a Constitution.{See, Newsletter No 2} Its Founder Chairman was Nicholas Reed; its new Chairman is Angela Sutton, who retired as a Squadron-Leader after 32 years in the RAF.{See Newsletter No 8}”

In reply to that suggested wording, Wikipedia told me that I was “too close to the subject” to be impartial in writing that citation. Presumably our new Chairman, Angela, after 32 years in the RAF, would be “even more close” to the subject, and thus even more “unreliable”!

This does not seem to happen to the scientists. If Albert Einstein had contributed an article on Relativity, would Wikipedia have told him he was “too close to the subject”?! Some of our readers might like to take this matter up. It would be good to see if they could produce a citation which Wikipedia will accept!”

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