Steve Mail: Episode 1

From time to time we get letters from our dedicated readers.  You may have already read the responses my colleague Mr. Langley posted here, and noted our dedication to reader acknowledgement.   I have carved out a few minutes from my busy, world-traveling, story-breaking schedule to answer some of my own fan mail.  Now to be precise, I haven’t received any “actual” fan mail, but I have written a sample letter, the likes of which I assume you all have written but been to shy to send, and responded to it in kind.

Dear Steve,

How is it you’re so awesome?

Dear Reader,

I consider my awesomeness to begin at my attention to journalistic detail.  I have a strict writing regimen that I follow with every single piece that ensures the highest level of accuracy, one of the many contributing factors that make me the greatest journalist in the world.

First, I begin by taking down all of my field notes in Mandarin Chinese, on a scroll of hand-crafted rice paper, using a fountain pen.  When I get the notes back to the office in Broken Bow, I take Polaroid snapshots of the notes and have them scanned and digitized at an undisclosed local drug store.  The digital copies then get mailed to Dave in translation on a few hundred floppy discs.  Dave, while fluent in Urdu, Russian, and English, doesn’t know Chinese, so he must painstakingly match my handwritten characters with those available in the Google Translate tool.  The rendered English translation then gets copied on a regulation legal pad, and mailed to Chan Lu in editing who, fortunately knows Chinese and cleans up any confusion that may have happened during translation.  Sot’s finished product then gets mailed back to me to be compared with my original notes and scoured for errors.  If there are any changes to be made, any facts to check or corroborations collect, these things take place at this stage.  Often, upon further investigation, I find that the bulk of my original notes are full of erroneous information or bits of hearsay or, at least on one occasion, emotionally charged odes to the plight of the American Mustang.  At this point all of the impurities are purged and what remains is the pristine journalistic manifesti that you find at PFN News.

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