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NEWS CHANNEL VS ST NEWS by Gaston Smit

Gaston Smit is a young computer enthusiast, and used to be the
editor of the Dutch yet International disk magazines "News
Channel".


In light, some comments by me (Richard) have been included.

Faithful readers of ST NEWS have probably noticed a kind of
battle between "News Channel" and ST NEWS, both disk magazines
for your most beloved computer. Perhaps it's best described as
hostility. In the previous issue of ST NEWS Richard Karsmakers
stated in the 'Did you know that...'-article that the editorial
staff of "News Channel" is set to try and kill ST NEWS. Writing
this article I'll explain this totally wrong impression and other
untruthful sentences uttered by ST NEWS' ex-editor.
This article was initially meant to be published in the next
issue of "News Channel", but I was asked if I would also write an
adjusted version for ST NEWS. Of course I agreed to this proposal
because I think the truth must prevail and I'm definitely no
murderer.
Let's start with a brief history of "News Channel". Over a year
ago Servé Hermans and Erik van Esch decided to start a disk
magazine. Already before the first issue was published I was
asked to cooperate with them and write articles. When the first
issue had been published people began to contribute and "News
Channel" started to increase in both quality and amount of
readers. At certain points "News Channel" even outran ST NEWS
(please mention them next time).
Probably Richard was afraid of this, so he tried anything to
let you, ST NEWS readers, think that the editorial staff of "News
Channel" consists of a bunch of malicious people with extremely
bad intentions with regard to ST NEWS (only after the latest
"News Channel" issue
). This really creates a bad reputation,
doesn't it? It's quite manifest that he was provoking the
aforementioned battle. Of course there were some things to be
criticized, the English language for instance. This is easily
explained by telling you that when I started writing for "News
Channel" I was only 14 years old and I am still learning it at
school. So this is improving too and I think that it is somewhat
exaggerated to wonder if the language used in "News Channel" is
English, as Richard does.
I will quote some lines that Richard wrote in previous issues
of ST NEWS, which try to decrease the NC-o-meter and then explain
that they are not true, if necessary.

Issue: 3.4
Article: Did you know that...
'After "ST-Info", which isn't altogether that good, "News
Channel" has now appeared on the Dutch market?'

This is a very clever way of putting "News Channel" on the
lower levels of quality right on from the beginning. Together
with other lines in this article this makes for a bad first
meeting with "News Channel" (you might not believe it, but I
didn't mean it like that. If "ST Info" is not so good, this does
not imply the "News Channel" isn't good either
).

Issue: 3.5
Article: Did you know that...
'We cannot dedicate our next issue to Jean Michel, because the
recent issue of "News Channel" was already dedicated to him?'

Issue: 4.2
Article: Did you know that...
'We couldn't dedicate ST NEWS to J.M. Jarre for 5 months,
because another magazine beat us to it?'

Who has ever said that the editorial staff of "News Channel"
forbids ST NEWS' dedication to Jarre? By writing these lines
Richard blames "News Channel" for the fact that ST NEWS readers
had had to wait 5 months to hear Mad Max' excellent Zoolook
music, which would only be included in the Jarre-dedicated issue
(it's not a question of 'forbidding'. We just do not want to
mimic other disk magazines and therefore couldn't do it
).

Issue: 3.5
Article: Did you know that...
'The new Dutch diskmagazine "News Channel" approached adventure
wizard Math Claessens to write adventure solutions exclusively
for them?
'

We have never approached Math to write adventure solutions
exclusively for us (sorry, but that's what I was told). We do
have approached him to ask if we were allowed to include one of
his latest solution. Richard describes this as 'pinching away ST
NEWS
' authors' in the same article. We would never do this as the
readers would suffer from it (sorry, but I never had the
impression that you were concerned about our readers. More likely
about yours - which is normal, by the way
). But people who read
that article would think Richard is true; why wouldn't they
believe him? After all more messages like these were included in
ST NEWS.

Issue: 4.2
Article: ST Software news
'In their latest issue, volume 2 issue 1, I found many lines
that concerned 'a certain disk magazine' (ST NEWS, that is)
and that brought to my mind the possibility that my letter of
war might have been somewhat misinterpreted: for the editorial
staff of "News Channel" is obviously set to try and kill us -
and not out in the open!'

Everyone who read last time's review of "News Channel" issue
2.1 probably noticed that 'yours truly' was extremely upset about
some lines I wrote in that issue. He concludes from this that we
want to kill ST NEWS. Let's have a look at "News Channel"'s 'many
lines' that concerned ST NEWS.

NC issue: 2.1
Article: Did you know that...
'I was terribly shocked some time ago?'
'This only happens a few times a year?'
'This time it was when the scrolling message of a certain
diskmagazine
which I won't call by its name as that's not
fair, TOTALLY crashed?'
'It looked very good, however? (Before the crash, that is)'
'There's a chance there'll be included a fabulous scroller in
an upcoming issue of "News Channel"
?'
'People will laugh at the aforementioned 'crashing' scroller
then?
'

These are the 'many' notorious lines for which Richard became
so upset he even made a software company angry with us (I will
come to that later on). You can see yourself that Richard once
again exaggerated. I wrote this as a revenge for everything he'd
done to "News Channel" and I think I did not go too far; I even
praised ST NEWS' scroller! When I talked to Richard on the phone
some time ago, he told me he was particularly upset about the
last mentioned line (People laughing, etc.). I agree with him
that it's childish to laugh at a scrolling message, because an
other scroller is much better. But I did not say that I would
laugh at the ST NEWS scroller, and I surely won't, but there are
people who will (sounds like politics to me). All in all I think
that I did nothing wrong by writing these lines at all.

ST NEWS issue: 4.2
Article: Did you know that...
'Eerk Hofmeester of STRIKE-a-LIGHT gave me the original Dutch
of an article about Picworks 2.1, which I had even started to
translate?'
'I then discovered the article in a disk magazine that had
copied and translated it from the magazine to which Eerk
originally submitted it?'
'We will therefore not feature it in ST NEWS, because we don't
want to offer a virtual identical article of what this other
disk magazine ("News Channel") already did?'

Of course you can imagine that the people of STRIKE-a-LIGHT are
extremely angry with "News Channel". Because of "News Channel"
their program won't be featured in a magazine, spread in over
twenty countries all over the globe. But it is nonsense not to
write an article about Picworks 2.1 because there was already
published an article using the same source in another magazine.
Why did you copy the Batman solution if your principles are
against doing that ("ST Action" is no other disk magazine we
don't want to mimic, and we have properly credited them. I
believe it is useless to publish two virtually identical articles
in two disk magazines. I would have found it ridiculous if you
would have done it if we had published the article a bit
earlier. In the 'Picworks' case, we were talking about
translations of EXACTLY THE SAME Dutch article
)?

I was asked to keep this article about five pages of length, so
I will end it soon. I hope it's clear to you that "News Channel"
does not want to kill ST NEWS or even damage it. I also think it
is clear that RICHARD KARSMAKERS WANTS TO KILL NEWS CHANNEL
(definitely not). And I can tell you, he's succeeded: Serve
Hermans, main member of the editorial staff of "News Channel",
has quit. When we started the mag we agreed that if one or two of
us would quit, "News Channel" would be stopped, because it would
be too hard for the other(s) to continue. One final small issue
will yet be published...

This article was written from my own viewpoints and may differ
from others' - specially those from Richard. I will remain
responsible for what I've written and we'd like to receive your
comments at the correspondence address, so please drop us a line
when you fully disagree or when you fully agree with my
viewpoints.

A last note: Right from the first day when I heard "News
Channel" was to be started, its editors (maybe not intentionally)
gave the impression that they were set upon taking away all our
authors and foreign distributors. Since I don't like people
messing around with what I helped to create, this assured an
atmosphere of 'hostility' that remained until the very end.
WHY would I want to 'kill' "News Channel", if I work together
with several other disk magazines worldwide (including English
ones)? I believe that competition is good for the readers, and
(you will not believe this either) I regret "News Channel" having
stopped.


Ok, one final note by the editor (Stefan here).
I have always kept myself in the background a little here, I
really did not want to get seriously involved. I hate all this
craptalk and the only thing I want to do is have fun and program
for ST NEWS. No more words about it. Too bad about "News
Channel".

Disclaimer
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.