merman wrote:But as Craig pointed out, we can learn nothing from someone saying "Article X was rubbish" or "System Y is featured too often". Tell us if something was difficult to follow, glossed over something important or contained factual errors. Again, don't pick holes in something that is an opinion just because you disagree, or point out that a columnist made a point that was contradictory to what you think is right.
There's a difference between commissioning an opinion piece from someone whose opinion is respected, and an anonymous article presented as a researched factual investigation that tumbles into lop-sided bias. It's to the editor's credit that the magazine appears, at least to the reader, as a coherent collection of articles. But if a piece is to rely on opinion then I think it should be presented as such and the author identified (even if pseudonymously), so as to clearly separate argument over opinions from criticism of presentation.
The readers do pay actual money for the magazine and have expectations of what they consider professionalism. If you want professional criticism in return then pay a professional critic!
If anyone wants to ignore the feedback, that's entirely their prerogative and no-one really suffers in the short term. But if readers decide don't want to read the magazine anymore, that is going to have an impact. I've no doubt it's a hard job to pick out what's a genuine trend or preference from all the gobsh*teing that goes on, but at least the continued existence of the magazine is testament that someone somewhere has got the hang of it.
I think my point is, it's not my job as a reader or commenter to present the consensus view of the readership. It's the journalist's decision to determine that from all the people like me who present their own concepts of feedback.