Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Journalistic Economics

A possible gang-related shooting at the Glenbrook Square Mall parking lot. Both TV news operations covered the story and did a fairly good job - heavy on details, and light on conjecture. Well done. 

But, the contrast between WANE-TV and WPTA/ABC21 coverage shows a sharp difference in their follow-up stories. 

WANE-TV plays it straight, adding new information and getting a usable response from mall management. 


Read the WANE-TV story here:



WPTA/ABC21 takes a different approach. 


Read the WPTA/ABC21 story here: 

Relying heavily on the media press release from the police spokesman, as WANE-TV did, WPTA/ABC21 fills in the blanks of who, what, why, where and how and then offers something additional. The WPTA/ABC21 story uses their news product to go out of the way to reassure and comfort viewers that the malls are safe and secure. Besides the obvious ass-kissing, WPTA/ABC21 appears to be doing their best to protect the lucrative advertising contracts from Glenbrook Square. 

That, kids, is the economics of "journalism" in Fort Wayne TV news. 





Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Laughing At Media


The Emporer Has No Clothes.....

...the Media have no pride.

WOWO News with word of a PLAN crash...



Plan crash? Kids! Is that like a "plane" crash? The Maven has a feeling you'd never do that to an advertiser's name or commercial copy. 

At least the WOWO kids knew it was an aircraft.

The people in the pretty building on Butler Road left the airplane totally out of their story. 


Reading this story, it sounds like the pilot landed on his ass in the middle of a field without an airplane. But that's OK. Their newscasts save lives. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

WOWO News Comes Up A Little Short


The developers and promoters of the Electrics Works project at the former GE campus are doing something smart. Offering free tours to the public as a way to build excitement and leverage support for their project. 

When it comes to telling that story, seems like the kids at WOWO presented a big picture and only a laundry-list of dates and times. Other media, appear to have more "meat" in their stories. 

Don't try to read the fine print, but it's easy to see which news story was tossed together from a press release and which ones appear to be actual news stories. 

The WOWO story is on the left, WPTA21/ABC21 story is in the middle and the News Sentinel offering is on the right. 


While the kids in the WOWO news room have worked hard to restore credibility to the brand over the past few years, the Maven thinks they still have a journey ahead of them. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Maven loves WPTA21 aka ABC21, the gift that just keeps on giving. 

What other station could take a funny story about the planet Uranus (and it's disgusting smell) and turn it into an English pronunciation lecture? 




Rather than use the common pronunciation (ur-AY-nus), which would play into the joke, the male anchor went out of his way lecture viewers about the "proper" pronunciation of the planet's name (YUR-un-us) and spoiled what could have been a fun and humorous moment. 

Proving that Uranus isn't the only thing that smells, a few minutes earlier, WPTA21 aka ABC21 was forced to "correct" a story they ran in an earlier segment. Turns out that the fellow shot by a Dekalb County Sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop in Garrett 2 weeks ago is NOT DEAD and has never been dead, as the kids on 21 reported just 30 minutes before. Indeed, the man, Joshua Mumma is in critical condition and remains in critical condition. 

Setting aside the dripping hypocrisy of lecturing the audience right after committing a glaring reporting error, one might take heart in the boastful words of WPTA21 aka ABC21's "news whisperer" that their newscasts "save lives". 

It's true! They brought Joshua Mumma back to life right before our very eyes.





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".