Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Media Tidbits

Cut and paste? How can you screw that up?

From the WPTA story
And the WOWO story

The moral of the story, is that if you're going to copy off your neighbor's paper, you might want to try to copy correctly.....


A simple rewrite of a police press release about the dangers of firing a gun into the air to celebrate New Year's Eve. But leave it to WANE TV to screw that up. Hey WANE, it's a toy gun (the orange tip). Do you think your viewers are idiots or did you want to be politically correct? Or,do you just not know what a real gun looks like? 


And the Catch of The Day goes to WPTA.....

An earlier version of this story said that the Diocese had cut the award to Herx. Apparently someone at WPTA wisely rewrote the story before lawyers for the Diocese or others caught the screwup.  
Nice save.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Riddle Me This Journal Gazette...

This is a head-scratcher for the Maven.

The Journal Gazette encourages readers to share J-G stories with friends, and others using various social media platforms. 

But then, the Journal Gazette admonishes to not share their stories. Huh? 


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Multiple Guess

Here's a perfect example why the mass audience is confused. 

Our friends at 21 Alive seem a little conflicted as well. So, the Maven will ask the question:

When it comes being certain that the Ash Skyline project will include the residential tower as part of the project,  

Is Mayor Tom 

A)Nearly certain?
B) Virtually certain?
C) Somewhat certain?
D) Kinda, sorta, maybe certain?
E) Not at all certain?

Not long ago, the Maximum Supreme Commander of the Fort Wayne Community School board, Field Marshall Mark GiaQuinta, blamed ignorant, misinformed and uninformed voters for FWCS's transportation budget shortfall (the goofball voters voted for lower taxes). Now, one can see why voters are ignorant or confused. Media is doing their part.....

Monday, December 22, 2014

WANE TV Lowers The Bar Further

The Maven can appreciate that it's the holidays, which means people are off and those without much seniority are stuck doing their job and that of someone else. It's a fact of life. 

However, the bar can only be lowered so far. 

From our friends at WANE TV today:
Perhaps the brakes took a break? Sorry, the Maven cracks himself up sometimes. 

Here's a ProTip for those in the WANE TV news room: If the thoroughfare is paved, has curbs, and is in an urban area, it's called a STREET, not a road. 

And to make this gem complete, the on air reporter mentioning a new street name in downtown, it's called VAN BURN Street. Please make a note of it, thank you. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

No Christmas Bonuses in Elkhart?

Federated Media folk in Elkhart/South Bend may not be getting that Christmas bonus this year. Instead, Federated Media/Pathfinder Communications will be sending $46,000 to the FCC

Here's what happened: Those ugly tones we hear on the radio and TV during weather and other emergencies are considered "sacred" to the FCC, as they are to only be used in a real emergency or life-threatening situation. It's called the Emergency Alert System, or EAS.

Recently, the FCC has fined radio and TV stations for including those "alert tones" in advertising and promotional announcements. One would think that those stations would not want to mislead their listeners/viewers, but, the almighty dollar is a very strong motivator. 

Well, WTRC-FM, a FedMed/Pathfinder station licensed to Niles, Michigan and serving the South Bend/Elkhart market got caught including those tones in an advertisement, and has agreed to pay the FCC $46,000 for their actions. While the language of the FCC document calls it a "consent decree" as opposed to a "fine", it's appears to be the equivalent of a plea bargain. 

Read for yourself here:

This sure takes the heat of the kids in the WOWO news room, eh?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

News....Maybe In An Academic Sense...

Please forgive the Maven for his absence these past days. Nothing personal, but there are things more important than what the collective Fort Wayne media spew forth on a regular basis. 

So, understanding that need for fun and hilarity, here's your "kids in the WOWO news room f*up fix" for the day. 

In an "updated" story about the City's second fatal hit and run, we are given this gem:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The man killed in a hit-and-run accident early this morning has been identified. 

Authorities say 42-year-old Rufus Overbay of Fort Wayne died as a result from blunt force trauma. Just after 12:30 a.m., Overbay's body was found near Crescent State and East State Boulevard.

Ah yes. Anyone care to venture a guess as to what a "Crescent State" is and what does it have to do with East State Boulevard?

Too much lip gloss, I guess. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Bulldog Has No Bite

The Maven routinely gets irritated when local media, usually TV and radio,  simply cut and paste and polish press releases written and assembled by the authorities. 
Where are the questions? Where is the original reporting?

What really perturbs the Maven is when a media outlet that knows better does the same thing. 

This little ditty appeared in the pages of the once-vaunted Journal Gazette this morning. If it looks like a PR staffer for the Henry administration wrote it, you're mostly right. It's long on brag and short on details. 

A quick read of the story begs questions that the Journal Gazette was comfortable enough not to ask. The friendly relationship between the Journal and the administration is well known, however the complete pass that the JG gave the city is glaring. 

Now, the Maven hasn't written for a newspaper in nearly 30 years, but even the Maven would like to know:

1. How were the neighborhoods receiving the new sidewalks and streets selected?
2. Isn't this just a multi-year PR campaign to enhance the images of the administration and city council? There's an election next year...
3. Why didn't previous administrations do this?
4. Which council districts received the most assistance?
5. Why is this not considered "vote buying"?
6. Do any of the contractors have a direct or indirect relationship with any of the politicians that voted to give them the contracts?
7. Did any of these contractors contribute to the election campaigns of council or the mayor?
8. How many of the companies doing the work are local. 
9. What percentage of the contractors are union vs non-union?

The Maven could continue, but the point is, the Journal Gazette has either become very lazy in it's old age, or it's doing a superb job of protecting the political and powerful, while doing a piss poor job of being a watchdog for government waste and fraud. 

The real crime is that the only reporter in town asking any questions is that slippery Adam whats-his-name on WANE TV. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hard News Goes Limp

Really, WANE TV? 

This is news?

At best it's feature fluff. 

One might consider that WANE is schmoozing a finicky advertiser, or, perhaps WANE now sells "opportunities" within their "news". 

At any rate the Maven could never imagine even the revenue-challenged Journal Gazette stooping to put something like this on their front page.....

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Uh, WISH TV? They Don't Live Here

File this in the "if you were from here, you'd know this stuff" folder.

The kids in the WOWO news room seem to have a problem with which TV stations are located in, and serve, the Fort Wayne market. 

Repeatedly, The Station Of The Year Marconi Award Winner, credits WISH TV (alive and well, serving Indianapolis), as the source of a story about grease in city drains. 

As an added bonus, WOWO also misidentifies Fort Wayne City Utilities as the "Fort Wayne Utilities Department". 

Further, the Maven wonders why WOWO did not credit the Journal Gazette, (that's the daily morning newspaper's not the Indy Star) which originally broke the story. 

Closed Circuit to WOWO news: The local CBS affiliate that you copied your homework from is WANE TV

So, on this eve of Thanksgiving, the Maven is thankful for the kids in the WOWO news room for providing and endless stream of errors and foolishness. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

...our partners in news at 21Alive...

The Maven wonders if 21Alive might be rethinking their reciprocal promotion agreement with the kids in the WOWO news room. By providing 'traffic reports' to 21Alive, the kids in the WOWO news room are allowed to cut and paste "news" from the 21Alive web site for use on WOWO. Think of it as permission to copy your neighbor's homework. The idea is one of "cross promotion". How that benefits the listeners/viewers may be a point of debate. 

For instance, Radio Shack will close 2 Fort Wayne stores. The 21Alive story includes the locations of the stores. The kids in the WOWO news room leave those details out of their story. Why? Since Radio Shack does not sell lip gloss, the Maven guesses that it's not an important fact of the story in their eyes. 

WPTA reports:
The WOWO effort:
Sharp readers will note that the last words of the WOWO copy "if any other locations will do the same". Hard to tell since the kids left out the locations that were closing. 

The Maven's advice: 21Alive needs to be a little more watchful on how the kids in the WOWO news room handle and present 21Alive's work product.....leaving out important details can be expected from WOWO, but when WOWO indicates that the story came from 21Alive, there should be a concern that 21Alive's news product is slipshod and incomplete. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Protecting Their Friends, Or Are They Really That Inept?

It was a mixed bag for this individual. Winning and election, and going to jail. 

The Maven has just one question, why didn't 21Alive reveal the man's political party affiliation?  Seriously, is being charged with sexual abuse any more offensive than being labeled a Democrat or a Republican?

Are the folks at 21Alive protecting a political friend, or did 21Alive just not think it was important to you, since they are "journalists" and you are just some ignorant viewer? 

So, what is Mr. Fritz's party affiliation? All the 21Alive folks had to do was look a little deeper into their copy of the Journal Gazette this morning. That is, if they really wanted to know.

You can find the 21Alive story here:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Missing Something II

The Maven is sure that as soon as they come back in from their extended smoke break, the folks at the News Sentinel will add some words to this page. 

The Maven can only imagine the panic from the kids in the WOWO news room. "OMG, the news is broken, again." 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Missing Something?

Journal Gazette, News Sentinel. Welcome back, we missed you.

For reasons still not explained by either, both Fort Wayne dailies were nowhere to be found online this morning. One reader telling the Maven that the outage began early this morning. 

All across the Summit City, confused individuals could be observed scratching, poking, massaging and even banging their iPads and tablets. Each person hoping to whack some sense into their devices and thus bring their favorite newspaper website into view. But, trendy Starbucks and those also-ran coffee establishments, Fort Wayne's over privileged social elite were left with only the Wall Street Journal and TMZ as reliable sources for the morning's news. 

Adding insult to injury, a few news rooms across the city were without their main source of copy-and-paste content. Interns and other low-level personnel were quickly pressed into service as station vehicles were fired up and took to the streets to search the city for a hard copy of the Journal Gazette. This fiasco the result of local media outlets cancelling their print newspaper subscriptions as a cost saving measure. Love those bean-counters
Then, suddenly, as if my magic, whatever ghost or goblin responsible for this electronic news blackout quickly left before lunch and the Journal Gazette and News Sentinel appeared on the interwebs, and the kids in the WOWO news room could breathe a little easier..... 

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Latest From the WOWO Romper Room

Andy in Kendallville writes: "What? WOWO hasn't f8cked up lately?". 

Well, Andy, the Maven's been a little busy lately with more important tasks, such as cleaning out gutters, taking the boat to the marina, and getting the snowblower ready for winter. But for you, Andy, let's see what's up with the kids in the WOWO Newsroom.

First, there seems to be some confusion as to where DANA is headquartered. At least WOWO has it pinned down to somewhere in Ohio. 

It's becoming clear that only Andy in Kendallville, and the Maven seem to be concerned....

By the way, WOWO, most "suspects" are 2-armed. They were born that way......

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Media Irresponsibility

Significant outbreak? How about NO outbreak. Media can't seem to wait for the bodies to start piling up. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ambiguity Reigns Supreme

Once again, the kids in the WOWO news room have taken a simple news story, and for reasons known only to them, reduced it to a confusing mess. 

The first paragraph:
A man? Could you mean Jim Mutton? So, according to the story from WOWO, it would appear that Jim Mutton is asking the permission of Blue Stone Town Homes to allow him to build 24 duplexes. No? 
The Maven is unclear on what type of zoning or construction authority that Blue Stone Town Homes has in Allen County and why Mr. Mutton has to seek their authority to build. The Maven could swear that the Allen County Plan Commission still handled those chores. 

But wait, there's more in the second 'graph:
Just what are these duplexes going to "entice" the baby boomers, young professionals and old folks to do? Buy lawnmowers? Perhaps WOWO means the duplexes will appeal to those groups.......

And then the last paragraph:

Now wait a minute! Any idea what Blue Stone Town Homes, and Keller Development, Inc have to do with each other, if anything? And for those of us who don't know where Centaur Acres subdivision is, a little more information would be helpful.

Friday, October 3, 2014

21Alive, Thank You For The Friday Funny

Mistakes happen. How one responds separates the humans from the thin-skinned idiots.

The Maven admits laughing out loud and pounding the desk when this appeared on the 21Alive webpage.

And the Maven was very impressed with 21Alive's sense of humor responding to the error:

Nicely done, 21Alive, thanks for the laugh. This is not how the kids in the WOWO news room would have handled the situation. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

WANE TV's Obsession With Killers

Just what is it with WANE TV and their seeming obsession with killers and accused killers? There's another "special report" coming up this week to be presented by Alyssa Iverson on the 11pm newscast, Wednesday, Oct. 1.
The Maven is unclear how interviewing this man will do anything except drive ratings and revenue. It certainly won't help the family and friends of the victims to move on with their lives. 

Just weeks ago, WANE profiled the alleged killer involved in the now-famous Eby Avenue murder. That's the murder we all saw replayed over and over again from surveillance video. That "special report" painted an extremely sympathetic portrait of the accused complete with yearbook pictures and a gentleman identified as a forensic psychologist offering excuses for the man's alleged actions. While the accused man is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the WANE piece is a defense attorney's dream road map to a hung jury. 

The real reason for this "obsession" probably rests with the fact that from a business standpoint this type of exploitation of emotions and people's loss is a very inexpensive way to increase audience ratings and advertiser revenue. 

Sick obsession, or shrewd ratings/revenue generator?

Only those at WANE TV know the true reason.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

21Alive's Turn In The Barrel

Looks like 21Alive "updated" everything in this story except for the word "die" being used instead of the correct version: "died". 

The Maven is unsure if this is a simple spelling error, a misunderstanding of the correct use of the English language, or is this is some sort of cute, trendy "street talk" that young people seem to think makes them sound hip, cosmic and socially aware. 

At any rate, it illustrates the lack of caution, care and concern and how words, when improperly used, can often reflect on the viewer's, listener's, reader's perception of the media product they are consuming. 

Thank you to the alert reader who brought this to the Maven's attention. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Same Old WOWO News Room.....

You can put lipstick (lip gloss) on a pig, but it is still a Marconi-winning station. 

Today's SNAFU from the kids:

One more example that proves radio industry awards are just a mutual masturbation exercise, with an open bar......

Thursday, September 18, 2014

OK, Journalists...Which Is It?

Let's set the sad state of affairs on the radio dial aside for a moment, and ask the city's "real" journalists a question.

Did the pissed off veterans vent their frustrations to the Fort Wayne VA Hospital "medical staff" OR the Fort Wayne VA Hospital "administrators". There is a difference. 

The Journal Gazette's headline:

Now, the News Sentinel headline:

No wonder the kids in the WOWO news room seemed confused, they don't know which newspaper story to cut and paste (lift) their story from. Their jobs would be so much easier if the actual journalists could agree on what they witnessed. Of course, the Maven is making the assumption that JG and NS reporters were both present at the event. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Change of Venue Nearly Guaranteed

The old saw about "just because you can doesn't mean you should" might apply here. 

The over-active Adam Widener of 15 Finds Out fame is putting the WANE TV news reputation in jeopardy once again with his latest effort:

WANE TV thinks it's important that you know all about the childhood of unfortunate Charles Benson, now accused in the Eby Avenue murder, which thanks to WANE TV's grainy footage, we've seen 1,000 times. The yearbook pictures, the stories of a once promising young child who, because of the mean streets of Fort Wayne, suddenly became a murdering monster, er, make that an alleged murdering monster.

The story, which aired Monday, and is online now, works very hard to portray poor Charles Benson as the real victim in this tragedy. In fact, Mr. Widener never mentions the name of the actual murder victim, John Damarcus Holman in his story. He's the dead guy, remember? He's the person who's family now grieves. But, WANE TV and Mr. Widener seem to forget about that. Oh, the anchors do mention it once in the intro to the story, but that's all the play the real victim, the dead guy, gets here. 

While it's a pretty boring and mundane story, it is complete with an expert Forensic Psychologist pontificating and musing about environment and society and it does offer a rather complete road map for Mr. Benson's defense attorney. It will be an invaluable tool in guiding a confused, teary-eyed jury to a verdict of not guilty. What a great way to taint the prospective jury pool! The Maven bets the first thing Mr. Benson's attorney will ask for is a change of venue due to media publicity. If the Maven were the judge, the Maven would tend to agree. 

Before someone gets up on a chair and starts screaming about Freedom of the Press, let's remember that WANE TV and Mr. Widener have a spotty record when it comes to their "investigations".  Oh, sure, they ran some money-begging scammers out of town, and some will say they only took the credit while others, including law enforcement did the actual leg work.   But the Maven is willing to give them an 'attaboy' on that one. 

A couple of years ago, 15 Finds Out stuck their media elitist noses into a police-involved auto accident. WANE TV and Mr. Widener found it necessary, for reasons unknown, to publish the complete disciplinary records of each officer involved. None of the information in the police officers records had any bearing on the accident investigation, but WANE TV wanted you to know. Independent accident investigators found no wrong doing in the case. However, many in the police community and community at large took issue with the story, and WANE TV suffered a minor backlash for what many saw as an  attempt to tarnish the reputations of two City police officers.

And then there's the case of the Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man who kidnapped and held 3 women captive for more than a decade. WANE TV fell all over itself attempting to locate Castro's sister who reportedly lived in Fort Wayne. She'd been interviewed by the national media and WANE TV wanted an interview, too. They never did locate her, but in their efforts to find her, WANE TV reported that her house had been foreclosed upon and that she had been evicted from a local apartment complex, five years ago. How that relates to three kidnapped women in Cleveland is not well understood. Seems more like they tried to trash her reputation instead. Vindictive?

The bottom line is just because media can dig up information, usually public information, the choice of how it's used, when it's used and for what reason it's used in publication, should always be questioned. In this case, there is a possibility that a man might go free for murder if WANE TV and Mr. Widener's sympathetic news story touches just one juror.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Here's How It's Done

This morning, the News Sentinel website featured a story on the new United Way President/CEO. 

A quick read of the story turned up an issue with the last paragraph. Seems someone named Smith was quoted. However, Mr. Smith's first name was not included nor was Mr. Smith identified in regard to his affiliation with the local United Way.

One phone call (yes, they do answer the phone at the N-S news room) and the response was: "yes, we're on that right now, thanks". Five minutes later the error was corrected. 

No hassle, no voice mail, no bullshit. They had already found the issue and were fixing it.

A very refreshing contrast to local TV and that "award-winning" radio station, where incorrect and inaccurate information is rarely updated and often left as-is.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

WOWO Wins Marconi Award

Here's a FLASH!

Congratulations to WOWO 1190 (and now on 92.3 FM), 2014 winner of the Marconi Medium Market Station of the year award. 

No word if the prize includes a dictionary and AP Style Book for the kids in the news room. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Challenge, But No Ice Water

Does the writer mean to say that?
Does the writer not know the proper word to use?
Does the writer (or WOWO management) give a damn?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Curse of the Certain Unnamed Individuals......

The Maven takes great interest in comparing how different media outlets treat the same news story. 

The kids in the WOWO news room cobbled together this ditty today, with the help of their "partners in news, 21Alive. That's a nice way of saying they cut and pasted the story from the TV station website.

Ah, yes, those "certain unnamed individuals. Now, if the kids in the WOWO news rooms were watching WANE TV, instead of 21Alive, they might have know the identity of those "certain unnamed individuals" who were threatened.

Oh, and here's a little pro tip from the Maven. When arrested and participating in the "perp walk", never, ever make eye contact with the media's cameras.....unless, of course, you attorney plans on using an insanity defense. If that's the case feel free to growl and drool, if you desire. 
Threatening to eat members of the working press is also a crowd-pleaser. 
You are welcome.