Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Staff Writing at America's Best Community Daily

A Florida high-school graduate writes the paper's "What's Going On" box, refering readers to the Web site, This morning's enticement:

Hillary has taken the lead
Voters at the Readers Poll have pushed Hillary Clinton into first place in which person they'd vote for if the presidential election was held now.

This writer's skill qualifies her for a Florida diploma and a job with benefits at America's Best Community Daily. Equally revealing is the reference to a woman who is a public figure. Would a male candidate be "Bill" or "Mitt" in this headline? I think not.

Writing reflects the quality of thinking -- clear or fuzzy, deep or shallow.
The morning's business page headline, Gold hits new all-time high, is as good an example as any.

"All-time" includes past, present and future -- all time. Even the best headline writer can't predict today's price is the forever high. And, the lazy adjective "new" simply gives the top-ranking guy at the breakfast table license to entertain the troops by rattling the paper and asking, "So what's the old all-time high?"

Instead of being regarded seriously, the newspaper becomes an object of laughter and derision, even among the cereal set.


  1. No mention of 2006 or 2007 so we are to assume it's been downhill ever since?

    Are the awards in the small print from members-only organizations? They usually are based on self-selected submissions from members whose dues are current.

  2. Gone but not forgottenThu Jan 17, 11:22:00 AM

    The paper's publisher started out in advertising and uses the Penny Pincher Ad sheet as his model. Don't know why anyone would think this is America's Best.