Monday, April 16, 2018

Media Covering Media = Cluster Foxtrot

First, congratulations to Terra Brantley, moving from mornings to 5, 6, and 11pm anchor on WANE-TV. Well deserved. 

Those are the roses. 

Now, here's the brickbats

<heavy snark> 
"Congratulations" to the News Sentinel for screwing up a simple news story.

Please note the headline is correct, as is the body copy. But the cut line (box beneath the picture) states that Tara is the new Morning anchor.

If you can't quite read the fine print it says "Terra Brantley will become WANE-TV's new morning anchor after the departure of Heather Herron in May". 

In the Maven's opinion, the News Sentinel hasn't been the same since they took away the printing press. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Show Me Just ONE Flaw....Vol 1

From the Maven's email: "I dare you to find just one flaw in our news reporting".

Maven asks: "just one"?

Let's see. There was the time you told me that the entire city of Indianapolis died in a fire in Tennessee

When Columbia City was building a new water park, your fuzzy math skills were on parade. (hint, you're about 300k off)

How about the time you did a story about Amtrak passenger service but showed me a picture of a Norfolk-Southern freight train.....

Was it a "medically-induced" beating?

True to form, WPTA21 fouled up Melissa's last newscast. 

How about the time that WANE-TV invented "Future News" reporting stories HOURS before they ever happened?

The WOWO kids, reinventing the English language:

The Maven recalls when WFFT put their reporter and camera in the median of Coliseum Blvd during a snowstorm....imploring viewers to "be safe".

WFFT isn't the only station to put reporters lives in peril. Check this screenshot of storm damage and their reporter-ette standing within arm's reach of a fallen power pole and arching wires:

And to wrap up this edition of "show me just one flaw" the Maven presents the "we're the media elite and you're just an ignorant viewer" award:

Meanwhile, out in "21 Country" someone might be holding their Nielsen diary and thinking "keep calm, and kiss my ass".

Sunday, April 8, 2018

"Newer" Technology Bites The Journal Gazette

Check the second paragraph. Does it seem out of place, to you?

An unfortunate technical glitch? Or, as we see more and more in the electronic media, overworked "journalists" being asked to do more with less? 

The glitch did not make it into the print version of the Journal Gazette so J-G management can rest securely knowing that no one over the age of 60 will ever see the error. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

WANE -TV, Google Is Your Friend

Considering the myriad of resources available to local "journalists", one has to wonder how ignorant and careless mistakes like this happen. 

Uh, kids.....that's not the correct name of the agency. 

Here's a hint:

WANE-TV's story quotes the agency, so they either got a media release or spoke to someone to get the information. Either they didn't confirm the name of the agency, or they really don't care. 

Uh, might want to leave this one off your resume reel.....

Friday, March 9, 2018

Media Trivializes Tragedy, Again

School violence is planned next week?

Must be true, ABC21 WPTA News published this Thursday on Twitter.....

Maybe Quincy Newspapers should re-think the open bar and Happy Hour in the newsroom. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

WMEE 97.3 Avoids Deep DooDoo


The kids at WMEE 97.3 had a great idea: Let's play off of Hoosiers new-found privilege of buying booze on Sunday! Listeners will be invited to send us their receipt for alcohol purchased on this Sunday and through some sort of magical selection process, someone will win a grand prize of $100. It's simple! What could go wrong?

Well, thankfully the adults in charge of operating WMEE 97.3 got wind of the questionable promotion, put their foot down and subsequently withdrew it. 

So, what's wrong with that? Plenty. First, a contest that directs listeners to purchase booze in order to win a prize is hardly the family-friendly image that FedMed, who owns WMEE 97.3, wants to cultivate. 

Secondly, there's a pesky Federal Trade Commission rule about broadcast stations promoting gambling. Working in lockstep with the Federal Communications Commission, the Feds prohibit what they call a "lottery". In their legal description, a broadcast station's contest becomes a "lottery" when three conditions are met. First is a "prize", something of value. The second is "chance", like a drawing or prize wheel, and the last is "consideration". Consideration means the contest player must make a purchase to be eligible to win the prize. 

In the case of the WMEE 97.3 contest, the prize is the $100, chance is the drawing of a winner, and consideration is the requirement of making a purchase (that's the only way a contestant would have a receipt to submit). Since all three of those conditions are present in the WMEE 97.3 contest, by definition, it's a "lottery" and would expose the station's owners to the very good probability of hefty 6-figure fines and/or the possibility of FCC sanctions up to and including loss of their broadcasting license. 

(UPDATE) Would the FCC really come after a little ole Fort Wayne radio station for a silly little contest? Uh, yes. Many readers will recall the Maven's post on 12/21/14 when WMEE 97.3's sister station in Niles Michigan was forced into a Consent Decree (like getting caught and promising to never to it again) which amounted to writing a $46,000 check to the Feds when some advertising genius at the station thought it would be a good idea to include the Emergency Alert tones in a commercial for added impact. The Maven muses that there were no Christmas bonuses in Elkhart, that year. 

Here's the link to the Maven's post:

Or read from the FCC official text:

The Maven suggests that the adult who stopped this foolishness deserves the Federated Media Employee of the Year Award for pulling the station back from the brink of possible demise. 

As a side note, before the trolls begin to stir....there are two exceptions to the "lottery" prohibition. First, of course, are government-sanctioned state and multi-state lotteries. The second are charitable contests/lotteries/fundraisers which require an application/vetting/authorizing process where a license is issued , usually by the state. The annual Turnstone Classic Corvette raffle is a good example of a permitted charity lottery.

Don't bother looking on the station's website, the "contest" has been scrubbed from the WMEE 97.3 website and all apps and no longer can be accessed. However, an abundance of screenshots exist forever.

WMEE 97.3's "Official Contest Rules" are purported to apply to all contests. Check item #2. You can find them here:

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Perhaps a case for Lt. Columbo.......

Even the error-prone WPTA21, where the kids in the WOWO news room copied the story from, included the WHY. But,WOWO must have thought it unimportant.

Certainly you'll recall that a news story requires WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY and HOW. Leaving one out renders the story useless to readers/viewers/listeners. Most writers would have learned this on their way to a Journalism degree. 

However, if you your degree is in Eastern European Art Appreciation and Essential Oil might have missed it