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.