Imagine driving to your place of business, only to find the City has closed the street allowing no access in or out while they pave, blocking vendors, customers, and preventing orders from leaving the facility. That was the situation an a acquaintance faced on St. Joe Boulevard this morning.
That's how things are done here....in a city which purports itself to be "business-friendly".
But this post is not about the ineptitude of the City, no, it's about the ineptitude of our lazy local media.
You know....the "coverage you can count on" folks. The "when you need to know" people. The "depend on it" people. All too busy to speak to an average viewer/listener/reader calling in a story about a local business that can't do business because the City seems to close streets when they damn well feel like it.
The Maven called five media outlets before noon today, which included three TV stations, a radio station and a newspaper. No one would bite on the idea. Not a single one thought the story might be important. So, you won't see, or hear, or read about this foolishness today, tonight, tomorrow.
But, that's how things work in the media in our town. If you're a governmental unit (politically powerful), a big hospital (buys lots of commercials), the local school system (politically-connected), an influential non-profit (doing it for the children), or a loud-mouth car dealer (Fred for the people), you can get nearly immediate access to and through the Fort Wayne media.
However, if you are a successful small business getting screwed over by a City department that works when they want to, where they want to ..... lottsa luck.
...an attention-getting headline, for sure. That's the way it's supposed to work. Grab the reader's/viewer's attention, then deliver the goods in the body copy. The a significant amount of WANE TV's audience reside in Fort Wayne. So, a reasonable person would assume the ex-city councilman would be a Fort Wayne city councilman. But, that's not the case.
It's a Hartford City ex-city councilman.
Wait, WOWO's in on it, too?
No, it's no grand conspiracy to deceive readers and viewers.
What it is is cutting corners by regurgitating an Associated Press story including the headline. If one looks, one will find that the stories and headline match word-for-word. Is this wrong? Yes and no. Yes it's wrong because both media outlets did not alter the headline to indicate that an ex-Hartford City councilman was the subject of the story. And, no, this is how things are done these days. Very little original reporting, very little pride in the product. Anything to save a dime. As the Maven has mentioned before, media is asking fewer people to do more with fewer resources. And that's why we see stories like this......
Fewer and fewer people, asked to do more and more with fewer and fewer resources. The results are obvious. The rush to be first, the rush to be accurate. Pick one. With no one to edit or assist, the poor WANE reporter has to gather the facts of the breaking story, get confirmation, write the story, shoot the pictures, add the graphics, and then publish it on the webpage, as well. Here's what you get:
Actually, it was a train that did it.
Another example of inexperience and lack of checking outside sources (like your own ABC network) caused the 21Alive crew to bury the lead in the Malaysian Airways flight 17 disaster. Even VP Joe Biden got this one right...a couple of hours before this story appeared.
Of course it crashed. Most jumbo airliners tend to that when they are shot out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile. The Maven figures that WPTA didn't have a snazzy graphic on file for an airliner shoot-down. All the intern could come up with was a 'crash' graphic. In the world of TV news, graphics rule the day, and the facts take a back seat.
The Maven awards a Double Facepalm for these pieces of "journalism".
The Maven will keep this as brief as the last WOWO News staff meeting. There is a difference between the words "decent" and "descend", but the kids in the WOWO Newsroom haven't quite figured it out yet.
Item 1: The kids in the WOWO News room have been left unsupervised, again.
Grin and bear/bare it?
Item 2: Not to be out done, Fort Wayne Newspapers Readers Choice Awards. As noted below, The nominations has been compiled!
Oh, it gets better. The Local Radio Personality selection grid contains people who are no longer on the radio (a few are noted, there are more), and the folks as FWN apparently haven't caught on that WXKE now lives at 96.3 and not at 103.9 as their grid indicates. They must not read their own newspapers.....
The Maven also has been told that on some of the other grids contain the name of at least one individual who is deceased (and has been for a few years). FWN must also not read their own obituaries.
The truth be told, the Reader's Choice contest is nothing more than an advertising generator for the papers. The way it works is, nominees will be pressured to purchase ads (at a "special" rate) in the papers to "enhance" their showing in the contest results. Then, the top vote-getters are approached again to buy even more ads (at an even more "special" rate) to tout their ranking in the contest.
Helpful hint: If your FWN ad rep ever uses the word "gang page", run far, run fast. You are welcome.
Hey, they've got to pay for that out-of-proportion, over-sized building at Main and Van Buren and that $30 million dollar printing press somehow.....
Last week it was Pat White's triumphant return. This week, it's Rick Hughes.
The complete N-S story is here: http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140712/ENT/140719895 While the Maven is no fan of Pat White, Rick Hughes has always been entertaining and, as the Maven will happily attest, a joy to work with (back in the days of 7" vinyl, turntables, sticky tape cartridges, and traded out Arby's lunches). That's why the Maven is a little more than pestered that Adams, who pulled the plug on Rick's morning show on WGL 1250 and 102.9, now attempts to put lipstick on the pig by allowing Rick to play 60's nostalgia host for 6 hours on Saturday, and then repeat the program on Sunday. Now, that's innovative programming (heavy sarcasm). Adams, no doubt, thinks it's a win-win situation. A win for the backward Fort Wayne listeners, and a win for Adams since Mr. Hughes, and Mr. White will provide hassle-free weekend programming at a fraction of the trouble of syndicated weekend programming. Brilliant! Just wondering when Chilly and Sara (late of WXKE) will get their own weekend shows. Seems to be a trend.
In all honesty, the Maven had totally forgotten that Pat White was even on the radio for the past four years. In true radio tradition, what the industry cannot kill, they recycle. Thanks to Adams Radio, Pat White will live on to stumble and giggle through another broadcast day. The king of recycled content, will ride again!
The Maven admits to getting quite a chuckle out of seeing the words "Pat White" and "intelligent talk radio" in the same sentence. Mr. White may have acquired some new interpersonal and presentation skills during the last four years in radio Purgatory, we'll see how this works out. One has to also admire Adams Radio for being cautious with Mr. White, giving him just a Saturday show at this point. Adams is wise to limit their risk. Kevin Leininger's complete column can be found here: http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140710/NEWS/140709670/1005
Someone may want to tell the Social Media person at Adams Radio, seems the Patriot 1450 web site does not recognize Mr. White. Or, they are just being classy.
There are those who will argue that Sports is not News. While that debate won't be settled any time soon, one thing was all can agree on is that those who write Sports stories are just as susceptible to the foibles of spelling, syntax and grammar as their journalistic cousins who write the hard news. An otherwise excellent story by the News Sentinel's Pete DiPrimo about an addition to the Indiana University squad contains one glaring error which will guarantee that Pete will be buying the beer at Henry's after work.
Now, to those of you living in Kendallville, the phrase "three throw line" might be acceptable, but for most of the free world and parts of Arkansas, the proper phrase the "free throw line". If that's difficult, then "charity stripe" might be for you.
Moronic vandals mark up the MLK Bridge with racist propaganda. One of the reasons why we can't have nice things here in Fort Wayne. Of course, the media is all over this story since it has racial overtones. The media sells more newspapers, gathers higher ratings, and creates more page-views when it can divide it's audience and put them at odds with one other. If someone had painted anti-conservative propaganda on the genitals of Anthony Wayne's horse in Freimann Square, the media would be silent. Here's how the kids in the WOWO News room handled the story:
A few things:
One more thing, and I'm sure it has to do with the your age, kids. It's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Not once in your story did you use the gentleman's name and position correctly. Please give the man the honor and respect he deserves.