Saturday, April 26, 2008
Quoting Sources We Didn't Speak To
The Sun-Herald's own Lang Capasso, a "general manager," (not a reporter trained in the ethics of journalism) wrote last Thursday that a neighborhood pizza parlor "now serves beer and wine to wash down the pizza. Owner Yvonne Haulunen tells me that it was something they have been trying to get for along time."
Today's correction: The eatery "is not serving beer or wine" and Capasso did not speak to Haulunen for his column.
This little experiment -- of firing real reporters and ordering area circulation and sales managers with no journalism training (any college writing experience?) to write weekly business columns -- has been fraught with danger. The gang of five consistently produces silly, error riddled (let's not forget plagiarized) and vacuous lists of address changes, boosterism, and service announcements that violate the ethical separation of reporting and editorializing.
There's an important place on our local business pages for tid-bit news and short announcements. But, just because it's a one-liner doesn't mean it's easy to produce or exempt from journalism's standards. A sales manager cannot be counted on to know these standards. When a publisher assigns even short roundups to the untrained, he has saved salary by trivilizing his paper, his sources, his readers and his profession.
And one more thing:
In the same column, the writer leads off by announcing a local spa's new service "called the Raindrop Technique. It was developed to simulate water falling. This cleanses the body and is a 45-minute session."
Old Word Wolf calls this a long shower!
Labels: Lang Capasso