Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Geographically Challenged

Apparently, there are no maps at DeSoto High School and no culture of "check it before you send it." Public Information expert Jessica Shaver tells DeSoto Sun readers this morning (page 7) the district's teacher of the year grew up in a New York City suburb -- Rochester.


Instead of helping readers understand a little bit about the upcoming Heartland Transportation Plan meeting, instead of fact-checking the news release from the school district’s junior PIO, instead of examining any of several impacts the state legislative session will have on local government and the school district (constrained-county tax-impact funds? per-pupil allocation cuts?), Laura Schmid asks readers to contemplate her nude swimming days. And just in case contemplating Schmid’s nude swimming isn’t enough, she uses her allotment of tree pulp and ink to challenge the local-color columnist to tell readers about his nude swimming days.

This is our DeSoto Sun editor’s idea of follow up on important news. Readers have been treated to a week of the Sun staff's giggling tee-hee-hees prompted by a non-existent nudist colony instead of genuine journalism that would help readers understand the town and country in which they work, pay taxes and raise families. Journalism and subscribers deserve better than a morning focused on Schmid mooning the neighbors (**Remember: most nudists are people you'd rather not see naked).

Is it Real or The Onion? ...
Old Word Wolf actually believed for a minute that the over-the-banner teaser, "A local couple is caught in action walking their cat," was going to be an April Fool's Day spoof. No. It's the local news editor hot on the kitty litter beat. She assembled a four-photo portfolio story and wanted to make sure no reader missed this important report.

Old Word Wolf almost feels like apologizing for posting all this stuff. This morning's edition has been an almost too-perfect example of just about everything that's not journalism, not quality, and not a service to the community or the readership.


  1. I started to post a comment about the cat and nude swimming and just couldn't bring myself to follow through... it is sad, very sad. What is wrong with the Dunn-Rankins. Do they just not know any better or do they not care about real news... let's just sell papers with fluff. Have they never read other newspapers? Perhaps we can all chip in and buy subscriptions to several so they can see what a real newspaper looks like. And please, someone, tell me how they qualify to have interns -- are there no basic standards in placing students at a newspaper? It saddens me to think that these fresh faces think they are actually learning something at the Sun.

  2. I find Laura Schmid's "columns" put in situations without clothes. I remember a series in which she was showering. In another, she discussed body hair removal. Now nude swimming. I can think of better jobs if nudity is what she craves. No writing necessary!