Friday, December 4, 2009

"...a Well-Edited Newspaper ..." The difference between hope and reality

In Englewood, where much of the land is at or below sea level, the tallest geological features are pine and palm trees. -- Bobby Malec

Allusion-laden ledes are often a stretch, and this one sets a local record for irrelevance:

March 6 is not the Ides of March, but it is the last day Rich Rollo wants to serve as the chief administrator of the Englewood Water District.
It's not the Fourth of July either, but the guy still wants to quit.

More of the Same ...

The cutline says "For another photo, see page 5." Readers turn to page 5, and this is the reward: an identical compostion. The page 5 version of virtually the same photo adds nothing to the story. Cute kids on a field trip are cute kids, not news. And fake news does not cry out for a second take.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Bathroom Ad

A woman in curlers poses on the potty, reading a newspaper. The folks at the Sun-Herald think this is a wonderful moment that describes the paper's "special relationship" with readers.

The publisher is telling readers his full-page, full-color bathroom snicker is more important than news about local government, the school board, public safety issues, or even state news -- and way more important than a weekend wrap up from the Middle East, Philippines, Japan, Somalia, South Africa, Niger, Peru, Panama.

Readers aren't looking for a special relationship. We're looking for news. And we'd appreciate more of it.