T he honor rolls from Norman schools came out and the newspaper published them this past week. A reader asks why we continue such a practice since by omission it singles out those children who did not make the honor roll.

Some school districts throughout the country have discontinued sharing such lists with their local newspapers. It's being done in the name of student privacy.

Same thing with hospital births. Some Oklahoma hospitals no longer want to be in the position of providing information to newspapers that could be an invasion of privacy.

Norman Regional Hospital went to initials only on births a while back. They are now considering changing that and giving the parents a form to fill out and send to the newspaper if they want a birth listed.

Years ago, newspaper readers got the parents' full names and addresses. Commercial solicitations often beat the parents home from the hospital. The addresses were dropped to keep sales calls down. The new policy is aimed at privacy.

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It's political season and newspaper editors throughout the state are weighing whether to make endorsements of candidates.

Politicians seem to beat a path to the publisher's and editor's office every few years and then we don't hear from them until the next campaign cycle.

Some newspapers have given up the practice because no matter who they pick, they'll alienate some readers. The Transcript still chooses to make endorsements, believing that we care about who governs around these parts.

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My grandfather, a physician, once told me doctors put their mistakes in the ground, lawyers put theirs in jail but newspapers put theirs on the front page for everyone to see.

We've made our share of them and are not proud of any of them. Last month, we did a story about women and heart disease and interviewed former Norman Senior Citizen's Center Director Janet Thacker.

The subheadline on the story mistakenly said she had cancer. She spent several hours letting folks know that she does not have cancer, thank you.

We apologize for the error and should have corrected it sooner. Sadly, the reference drew attention away from what was an informative story about the silent symptoms of women's heart disease.

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On a lighter note, my Sunday column about former OU engineering dean Billy Crynes has generated a lot of "potty talk."

The former academic now travels the country trying to preserve a little piece of Americana in old outhouses. For a good meal and some gas money, he'll put on a program. So far, he has received a photo of one from Russia and one from Kansas and lots of stories few were privy to before.

One reader told me to keep up the good work and that I really had a "knack for getting to the bottom of things."

The puns never end.

Andy Rieger Managing Editor 366-3543 editor@normantranscript.com

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