Monday, June 19, 2017

Captain Obvious and The News Whisperer

The Maven checked in on WPTA 21's 6pm newscast tonight. 

All the Maven can say is, it would make a hell of a drinking game.

For every mispronounced street name, take a sip. 
Pettit Avenue is now pronounced "petite".

For every relation to the obvious, take a swig. 
Weather guy telling us "lightning can be deadly". 

For every ad lib gone wrong, take a gulp. 
Female anchor, attempting to sound knowledgeable and credible, does neither, and calls Fort Wayne "a relatively small town".

For every ignorant "fact" announced, take a chug. 
Sports guy thinks college football teams play in "leagues" instead of conferences. 

And just for fun and extra credit, carefully watch the "B roll", that's video shown while the reporter or anchor reads a story. 

Tonight, WPTA did a story about an accident-prone stretch of I-69 near Indianapolis. What viewers saw was easily identifiable video of I-69 in Fort Wayne, with many local landmarks. 

Also, during the obligatory Monday "gas price" story, WPTA 21 talked about Fort Wayne gas prices dropping, but viewers saw video of people fueling cars....with California licenses plates at gas stations that don't exist in Indiana, or even the Midwest. 

Sure miss Melissa, Curtis and Tommy. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Journal Gazette, Sex Cream, & Your Kids

Fort Wayne Newspapers, the business agent for the Journal Gazette and News Sentinel, has program called Newspapers In Education that makes newspapers available to schools for use in the class room teaching environment. It's a worthy program designed to spur reading and instill the habit of reading a daily newspaper in our next generation.  

As almost everyone knows, readership and advertising revenue for daily newspapers is falling year after year at a precipitous rate, leaving many papers to seek "alternative" products or services to fill their pages and prop up revenue. 

Given all that, the Maven is unsure how school teachers will explain to their students what Sex Cream is, and why it's in the reading assignments. 

It is rather sad, that this bastion of Journalism and high community standards that regularly lectures us from it's editorial pages, has lowered their own standards for simple economic gain, something they accuse others of on a weekly basis. As has been pointed out to the Maven on more that one occasion, "well, that new building and $26 million dollar printing press isn't just going to pay for itself".

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

WOWO Leaves Out The Details, Again

Gotta love the kids in the WOWO news room. Such a nice story, WOWO being the good civic cheerleader hawking the impending tax increase to pay for Riverfront development. 

Nice story, even shows how little Fort Wayne earners will be impacted by the increase. 

One little problem. 

The kids cite $5.77 for an average household making $49,000. 

What WOWO news leaves out: will the increase mean Fort Wayne residents will pay $5.77 a year? 
Will we pay $5.77 a month? 
Will we pay $5.77 a week, a day, an hour?

If one bothers to click the link, and suffer through the story, yes, WOWO gets it right there, but their click-bait Facebook tease is dishonest and wrong to omit a key fact in the story. Lazy, dishonest, it doesn't matter. You are being manipulated into clicking on a story by being given as few facts as possible. 

Once again, media does it's best to confuse, confound and bamboozle those they purport to serve. 

Oh, it's $5.77 a month......small bite size chunks.....out of your paycheck. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Breaking Stale News

It was BREAKING NEWS! when it was posted on Friday around 6:00pm. It could have still been considered as BREAKING NEWS! when the story was updated a few hours later. 

But on Sunday evening, around 7:00pm, this item is not BREAKING NEWS!, but STALE NEWS. 

As one WPTA 21 anchor found out early on, TV in Fort Wayne operates 7 days a week. Why the station's website is so stale, especially on weekends, really has no good explanation. The other TV stations in town don't seem to have a problem when it comes to keeping things current. 

Here's the Maven's gripe: It's 48 hours later, and your website still shows this story in the prime position on the page as BREAKING NEWS! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Why do the kids in the WOWO news room think that a preview of Netflix June offerings is "local" news? 

Answer: Millennial over-think logic: "I live in an apartment, I can't afford a $400,000 downtown condo since I work in the media, but I can afford $9.99/month! A great discovery, thus, it is news. Since my apartment is in Fort Wayne, it's local news!"

Why, if the Indy 500 was Sunday, and millions of people saw the Ruoff Mortgage car win the race, are local media only now, days later uncovering this fact? WANE TV on Tuesday, and the Journal Gazette on Wednesday.....

The answer to "why" works better as a multiple-guess question. 

A) The media did not know that Ruoff was a local company or understand the connection until a cranky salesperson or manager started hollering. 

B) The media, running bare-bones staff during the holiday didn't have anyone who could write an understandable news story. 

C) The media held the story until more eyes and ears were available to read or see the story, since media does not think anyone watches or reads during a holiday. 

Only the Shadow knows......

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Working overnights is not easy, and Chris Darby deserves a lot of credit for his hard work. 

So, this is not a slam on Chris, but rather, an illustration of how TV-speak and Cop-speak intersect and give us moments like this. 

Chris' first tweet: 

Quick, concise, basic details and a promise to follow up. Good. 

His second tweet:

Added details, personal observation of the scene. Again, a good report.

Chris' third tweet:

OK. Here's what's confusing. In the first tweet, it's a shooting. Not an alleged shooting, not an apparent shooting. The second tweet indicates bullet holes in the car and a man taken to a hospital. 

Yet the third tweet says it's an apparent shooting. It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, but WANE TV, for reasons unknown, tell us it's an APPARENT duck. 

Well, at least they didn't say it was an ALLEDED duck, er, shooting. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Media Putting Lives At Risk

Apparently local TV news operations have little regard for the safety of their reporters. 

Who at WANE TV thought it was a good idea to put their cute reporter-ette just steps away from a downed power pole, complete with downed power lines? 

The Maven wonders what the station's Worker's Comp insurance carrier thinks of this....

But the idiocy is not limited to WANE TV. A few years ago, a reader sent a cellphone picture of a reporter and camera set up in a narrow median area of Coliseum Boulevard during a snow event. (that's the reporter on the left, the camera on the right)

The Maven is always astonished that TV news operations go out of their way to show you what not to do.....while doing exactly what they warn against.