Saturday, March 22, 2008

Size Matters

Laura Schmid, editor in charge of Arcadia's cats, laundry and eyebrow-grooming news beats (some wax eloquent; others just wax), opened e-mail from a campground resident and assembled a nature story for today's paper without having to leave the office: Bees cluster at Peace River Campground!

Down in the second leg of type, she dutifully reports: "A visiting beekeeper staying at the campground [...] said the cluster of approximately 15,000 to 20,000 [bees ...] is a small cluster.

But that "provided photograph" got her all abuzz and her cutline reads: "A huge cluster of bees hang together ..."

A couple of months ago, Old Word Wolf made fun of some news item or other that wasn't news but just a story that got into the paper only because a reporter happened to be standing next to whatever it was. This isn't quite in the same category because Schmid didn't actually go to the campground, didn't take the photo, and quoted most of the story from an e-mail. This isn't journalism; it's junk. We won't even go into "hang together."

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