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Editors Should Heed Own Advice

April 28, 1985

In his column, "Ducking Media Tends to Widen Credibility Gap" (April 21) John F. Lawrence makes eminently good sense. However, it's essentially the same lecture that has been delivered repeatedly for many years by editors to chief executives and their public relations advisers.

Why, if it makes such good sense, does it have to be repeated so often?

Perhaps the key to the answer was revealed in a news article that appeared in Part I of The Times ("75% in Editor's Study Doubt Credibility of Newspapers" (April 13). According to that article, a study commissioned by the American Society of Newspaper Editors found that "Only advertising executives and used-car salesmen ranked lower than newspaper reporters and editors for honesty and ethical standards." . . . And 78% said news reporters 'are just concerned about getting a good story, and they don't worry about hurting people.' "

I do not share this low regard for the media as I have generally received every consideration in my dealings with reporters and editors during my 35 years in public relations.

Perhaps editors should spend less time giving gratuitous advice on how they would like to be treated until they have improved their own public relations.

FLOYD A. OLIVER

Los Angeles

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