The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority has a mission, to provide “Public Television For All of Oklahoma.”
And its top-listed production is news.
And yet when the non-profit organization I work with, the Citizens in Charge Foundation, sent out a press release to OETA — that’s the outfit’s acronym — OETA sent an official complaint to our Web host, calling the press release spam.
Our former Web host, Hostica, shut down our site and our email.
This is the second time this happened. Obviously, we won’t be sending any more press releases to that news source.
But think about this. OETA is in the news biz. For it to call a press release “spam” — unwanted — is not just nasty, it’s an astounding breach of professional ethics. It’s like a weather man refusing to cover snow, or a preacher refusing to talk about God, or . . . a politician refusing to read the Constitution.
Now, it could be that we sent the press release to the wrong department. Their proper response? Forward it to the right people, then reply back.
But email routing is not what this is all about. Our press release covered a story that put a top Oklahoma politician in bad light. The public TV folk in Oklahoma aren’t independent. Being all-too-political, OETA — or someone at OETA — attempted to squelch our speech rights.
So I ask you: What should our response be?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.