Friday, January 31, 2014

Slim and None

Cliches are the death of any form of writing. WOWO News seems to be elevating that to an art form. Here are a couple of examples within the last 24 hours. Don't worry, there are many more, but these will make the Maven's point.

Slim and none, it's that credibility thing, again. Just going through the motions until that lucrative City/County PIO job opens up, or a local hospital needs a PR flack. 

Don't hold your breath, kiddies. Saurez and Perlich have those jobs all sewn up. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Social Media and Nut Cases

Does the company or enterprise you work for have a dedicated Social Media employee conduct policy? These policies are designed so that low level employees (representing or seeming to represent their employer) are discouraged from making complete and utter asses of themselves while, at the same time, painting their employer as a cadre of buffoons and idiots. 
It's apparent the Combined Communications Partnership, which provides public safety dispatching for Fort Wayne, Allen County and other agencies, does not have a Social Media policy. 

Yes, this young woman (commenting on WANE TV's Facebook page) called the people who pay her salary and who she is paid to serve, the criminally offensive name "nut cases". The Maven reminds you that this the public sector....where no one has to make a profit and no one has to compete for someone's business. This is the public sector where the customer is free to be abused and has no recourse. Your tax dollars at work. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Welcome Back WANE.COM.

Missing in action since sometime Thursday, is now back on line. Whooppee!

Since Thursday, viewers attempting to access saw only this message:

So what's the big deal? The Maven will tell you. The outage began Thursday, but no one apparently told the intrepid WANE TV reporters who dutifully posted story teases to the WANE TV Facebook page with links to those stories on the web page....which was "Temporarily Down For Maintenance". 

You guess is as good as mine......

Of course, isn't the only local media to have website problems. WOWO, during the "biggest storm of the year" a few weeks ago continually reminded listeners to check for school and business cancellations. When listeners dropped by, they were treated to this for about 6 hours:


Monday, January 20, 2014

Play To Your Strengths.....

The Maven is far from being a Country music aficionado, but of the two Country stations in Fort Wayne, US93-3 is a preferred choice. Having said, that, the Maven would like to remind US93-3 that when any radio station, or media outlet, strays from their strengths, they usually end up looking foolish. Even the best intended ideas can fall flat. While they may generate responses, it's clear that credibility can still be harmed. 

At issue, a thread appearing on US93-3's Facebook page. 

The Maven knows of no shooting, deadly or otherwise that has ever turned out "well".  

And the second sentence is just as juvenile and asinine. One smart-ass poster to this thread reminded US93-3 that this shooting took place in a bar parking lot, so asking about keeping the streets safe is an ignorant question. (Don't bother looking for that comment, it disappeared within minutes.) The Maven won't go that far, but, if US93-3 wants to engage their listeners with the crime and grime and doom and gloom of the unsavory underbelly of Fort Wayne, they may be doing themselves a disservice, as many listeners tune into their favorite music to escape the troubles and ugliness of the day. But, then again, this is a Facebook thread, so one must consider the source. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Creative Stealing

They say there is no honor among thieves. Apparently that also translates to radio morning shows. 

It's been called "borrowing", "appropriating", "reworking" and even "creative thievery" and it's been a fixture of performers from singers, to comedians, to radio shows for years. The idea is that if it worked in Peoria, it will work in Patoka. The trick was not to be blatant about it. Seems the folks on Maples Road are either inept or naive. 

In a nutshell, many of the topics, stories and ideas heard locally on WMEE 97.3 mysteriously aired the day before on a morning show on 95.5 FM in Detroit. Or, in the view of the Detroit folks, WMEE is stealing their topics, stories, ideas and the like. 

Don't take the Maven's word for it, listen to this clip from the Detroit folks. Now, the Maven does not care much for the "everybody talks at once" concept of morning radio, but if you can make it to about the 10 minute mark of the clip, you'll hear the Detroit crew get in the face of the Fort Wayne people. 

You can hear the clip here:

Wouldn't it just be easier to simulcast the Detroit show? That way the Fort Wayne audience could hear this crap a day earlier, and Federated Media could save some money on salaries. 

A Little Tense About Tense

Radio programming consultants preach about making news copy "conversational" and "immediate", that is, make it sound like you are only talking to one person and give the impression of urgency. The idea is to forge an intimate bond with the listener. Gone are the days that news writers relied on the inverted pyramid and AP style. When done correctly, the results are amazing; when done poorly, you get something like today's example.

Consider today's example: If all you heard was the first line, you would assume that an arrest was happening right now, in real time. 

But, if you read the second paragraph it becomes clear that the arrest happened the night before, so the copy should read "was arrested".

Just another example of style over substance, lip gloss over talent. 

And so it goes....

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Inexperience or Incompetence?

It snowed. By some accounts, it snowed a lot. This is Northern Indiana, it does that from time to time.

While the talking heads on TV call this a "weather event", for most Hoosiers, it's merely another pain in the neck that comes with living here. 

To "journalists" though, this is a "life event" which must be reported on because the TV news folks regard their audience as a bunch of rubes, completely incapable of understanding what a moderate snowfall means.

To wit: a "journalist", reportedly from WFFT, sets up a camera on a tripod in the middle of Coliseum Boulevard to file a report. Yes, in the middle of traffic on one of Fort Wayne's most busy and congested thoroughfares during a time when most Fort Wayne drivers are not expecting to see a human and camera tripod in the middle of traffic. 

The Maven is unclear on the concept of putting an employee's life in danger, simply to tell a story of rather obvious explanation. It snowed. How unique and compelling is that? Could not the shot be taken in a more safe manner?