Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Being Son of the Owner Means Never Having to Say You're Wrong

Yesterday, publisher David Dunn-Rankin wrote an error-riddled editorial in which he reported the state has approved the local comprehensive land plan. Today, reporter Jon Sica reports the comp plan "needs to be publically advertised and debated before it gest submitted [to the state] for approval." The publisher/editorial writer did not correct his error or any of the other mistakes he introduced regarding utility bond issues. Being son of the newspaper's owner means never having to say you made a mistake.

Filling a Much Needed Gap:
Club news is of interest to club members. No one else cares. For example, this morning's 20-incher, not counting a three-column wide color photo of an out-of-focus orchid, tells DeSoto County residents the garden club ladies held a luncheon on some unreported day. Its tablecloths were red and "adorned" with Valentine's Day candy. The minutes of the last meeting and the treasurer's report "were read and approved."

Dear Nice Newspaper Man: The next time someone sends you "club notes," tell them to get a newsletter. Your readers at large don't care who ate lemon bars for dessert. For example, this club note might go in birth announcements, but as news, it benefits no one who is interested in taxes, utility rates, local government, school board antics, police tactics and other vital issues of the day: "In December, I mentioned my 10th great grand child was to be born in January, around the time of my birthday. Would you believe she was born on the day of my birthday, which is Jan. 13, and also was given my middle name."

A good newsman fills the community news hole with interesting local stories. If all his reporters are on vacation, he culls from the regional Florida wire -- any little thing that might encourage DeSoto Countians to look beyond holiday china and heavenly hash.

This is Not Poetry. Believe Me, I'm an English Major.

Along the same lines, the DeSoto Sun took a giant step backwards a few months ago when it started publishing "poetry." As far as I can tell, no other edition's readers are forced to endure this embarrassment:

"I brushed the sleep from my eyes
at 5 o'clock this morning
And rose from the eternal supine
position to walk on the beach.
The sand was damp from the
ocean tickling it with wet fingers
Then sliding mysteriously off to the other side of the world."

I am not making this up. The woman who wrote this is old enough to know better: Get a diary, a blog, anything. Pen the lines and send them to your loving family. But this bizarre pastiche of the trite and the ridiculous has no place in a newspaper -- not even if all the reporters are on vacation.

And, just to show this is not a fluke, here's poetry Selection II:

Hair of gold crystal blue eyes
Sparkling like stars in the sky,
Lips formed into wonderful smile,
A joyful smile, for here was a
Young woman in her fifties,
Overwhelmed by the news.
She was to become Grandma
In the near future.

Old Word Wolf was to become nauseated
In the near future.

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