Monday, June 29, 2015

Maven's Media Memory Lane

While the Maven seems to pick on WOWO often, and it's an easy target for sure, don't think for a minute that all other Fort Wayne media is exempt from ridicule or absent any issue of presentation and/or content. 

In no particular order, the Maven presents the Media Memory Lane....

First up, is our vaunted afternoon news paper, the News Sentinel where running spell-check has replaced proof reading. Double points for screwing the headline and the body copy.

Please hold your applause until the end of the show, folks.....

Usually an adept user of Social Media, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic (AKA the Phil) drops the ball in their attempt to use the English language.....

The nit-picking continues with INC/21Alive/WISE TV whose reporter's only knowledge of the legal system, apparently, is where to send the money for a speeding ticket. "OMG" a jury voted unanimously to convict the accused of murder!" Uh, that's how it works, kids - all have to agree. Shazzm!

Then, there's Fort Wayne Community Schools, the smartest people on the planet, operating a Facebook page that is not moderated, or appears not to be moderated. This post was up for days, removed only when the Maven called to inquire. Ooops. 

Ah, the challenges of the English language.....

The morning disappointment, the Journal Gazette's reporter is amazed to find that a gun store has guns in it.....

The challenge of new technology has been most hard on the 'old media'. As far as the Maven knows, the missing copy for this News Sentinel story is still out in space, circling Uranus...

OK, so the Maven didn't showcase a WOWO'll have to wait for next time....

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Where's WOWO?

In fact, where are all of Federated Media's Fort Wayne radio stations?

Well, many of the signals are on, there's just no programming on them. Dead air, dead carriers. 

Once again, a major storm has destroyed the electrical power feed to FedMed's consolidated, centralized studio complex south of town. Our friends in IT call this a "single point of failure". 

One would wonder why a radio group that dominates the market in audience and advertising share still has not emulated their counterparts in other markets and spent the money to buy even a modest emergency power system? 

Year after year, WOWO and their sisters have been silenced due to regularly-occurring Indiana thunderstorms....and year after year, FedMed has promised large advertisers and loyal listeners that the situation was being remedied, plans were made, equipment was being negotiated and installation should be in place, soon. Uh, not soon enough.

But we must have empathy for WOWO and their sisters.....perhaps the home office in Mishawaka had some "unexpected" expenses. Someone's alimony payments may have increased, an emergency breast augmentation could have popped up. Maybe their the cost of newsprint for their newspaper had gone way up, again. Cost of doing business, happens to all successful enterprises. 

In the mean time, thousands of radio listeners are now sampling non-FedMed stations and, perhaps, creating new listening habits. In fact, the Maven has been enjoying hearing Zack Skyler on WLDE 101.7 today. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Maven News Writing - Sourcing

Kids, when you compile a news story, you know to follow the who, what, why, where and how format. But don't forget the "other who". That "who" is "who said so". To keep your listener's interested and give your story credibility, "sourcing" is highly important. 

See the example of a poorly-sourced story below. Aside from the badly-crafted headline, notice all of the "facts" that are stated are not attributed to anyone. Did someone or agency state these "facts" or did the writer just "make them up"?
The Maven has inserted some appropriate comments in the story. 

While the Maven isn't necessarily picking on the kids in the WOWO news room, WOWO news writing tends to yield the best examples of sub-standard fare. 

Next in the Maven's News Writing Series - How To Avoid "Cop-Talk". 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This Is Bad

So bad, the Maven is at a loss for words. One of the worst-written news stories ever. Besides the obvious over use of the phrase "the officer", we're also treated to spelling errors, bad syntax and a first paragraph that's nothing more than a giant run-on sentence. 

Really. This is journalism in Fort Wayne......

Monday, June 8, 2015

They Have No Shame

It has been a long-standing tradition in media not to publish the names of the victims of suicide. Exceptions are made if the person is well-known, or if the editors feel there is a compelling reason. Otherwise, like the names of incest victims, those names aren't published.

Today, WANE TV and WOWO radio saw fit to cast aside that long-held courtesy by identifying by name, a man who was pulled from the St. Joe River on Friday. Both media outlets properly identified their source of information as the Allen County Coroner's office. Why the victim's name was published, is not clear, but the Maven will take a stab at it.....

The kids in the WOWO news room probably don't know any better and simply handled the story as they do most, by cutting and pasting from a media release. Generally, it's an entry-level job where clerical skills are more valued than news judgement.

As for WANE TV......they seem to be creating a brand for themselves. 15 Finds if having a library card, an internet connection and a pushy attitude is a franchise. The News Bully seems more appropriate for them. They don't care who they hurt or who they trample on. The Maven would prefer to call them Rat Bastards. (sorry mom)

While the media is full of heart-breaking stories every day, the dynamics surrounding a suicide are unique to society. We would hope that the media would have compassion in special cases like this. 

The Maven does send Kudos to 21Alive and the Journal Gazette. They handled this story correctly and deserve to be recognized for their efforts.