Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sounds Like They Really Mean It....

Attention Townspeople, moms and days, boys and girls, and all you little animals gathered around the radio.....

Flood warnings are in FULL effect.

Not 1/2 effect, not 3/4's effect, but by golly, FULL effect. Please make a note of it. 

Why do the kids in the WOWO news room feel the need to add extra adjectives to their news stories? Adding the word FULL is redundant and superfluous. You see, kids, warnings are either IN effect or NOT in effect. Saying they are in FULL effect shows ignorance and inexperience.

In other WOWO News...

The Maven wonders, is that a FULL cow in the FULL road, and should drivers use FULL caution, or just partial caution?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Please Tell Me.....

WANE TV, please tell me what a high school hockey game has to do with the somber remembrance of a local homicide victim during The Longest Night Memorial Walk?

Hint: shouldn't your text story match the video report?

Of course, WANE TV didn't mean to insult the family and friends of Samuel Hendrix, this is just a case of overworked, underpaid "journalists" feeding the "content monster" and making a mistake.  

UPDATE: WANE TV has apparently corrected the error. Find the story here:  http://wane.com/2016/12/21/homicide-victim-among-those-remembered-during-longest-night-walk

At any rate, the Maven asks you to remember Samuel and the other 47 homicide victims this year.  Who speaks for them? 

The JG has a good story about the Longest Night Walk here:  http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/Walking-to-remember-homeless-16946223

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Email of the Week

Apparently there are some angry typists out there in media land. 

Either someone has an extremely thin skin, or they need to stick to the decaf. 

In addition, your investigative skills are rather poor. The Maven is not retired, has not taught English, driven a truck or hauled garbage.

And one more thing, who the hell is MARK?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Safest Job In The World

The safest job in Fort Wayne, at least. 

Typing news stories in the media. 

WOWO has a classic example:

And, as usual, no one reads their final product....

The story is here: http://www.wowo.com/iu-board-trustees-approves-ipfw-realignment-2-schools/

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Still Can't Type

They pushed 12 people out the door, including a 30+ and a 40+ year employee.......

but they apparently missed the klutz that can't type.

With all the money we're hearing that Quincy is pouring into WPTA, they still turn out embarrassments like this. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Journal Gazette: The Komets are Facists? Who knew?

Why the media look foolish. 

They send out a tweet, promoting a news story.

When one clicks on the link......they get quite a different story. 

Not sure what Hitler has to do with the Komets. Perhaps the Journal Gazette can explain. 

According To Our Cameraman....

Perhaps the writer is confused, but usually someone in authority provides official details about fires in the city. Many times that's a public information officer or fire commander on the scene. 

But in what can be considered a first, a WANE TV photographer has now officially declared that the fire is out, and that no one was home at the time. Maybe the on-scene reporter was too  busy having a smoke or was updating their Facebook page to bother someone in authority for official details of the fire. Or, maybe, WANE TV no longer sends reporters to "routine" stories and the cameraman had to shoot the scene and report the story. 

In the brave new world of 21st century local TV reporting, this may be the trend. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Vox populi...

Usually the Maven points out the unforced errors of our local media. Many in the media say it's "nitpicking" or "meaningless tripe". 

So, how does their own audience feel about the daily mistakes these "journalists" make?

See for yourself. WANE TV posted this "gem" today:

Their audience reacts:

Those are only a handful of Facebook comments, there are nearly 100 more.....

It's one thing when a nameless media blogger calls you out....it's yet another when your own audience, the people you purport to serve make fun of your mistakes.

Vox populi.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Just One Question.....

The Maven may have missed something, but when did Netflix offerings become "Latest Local News"?

First, Netflix is not local, and it qualifies more as Feature content than breaking News content. 

Perhaps this is part of an NTR (non traditional revenue) advertising sale. News content for sale....what a concept.  

Makes one wonder if the news you are hearing/seeing is really news, or just a sneaking way to get exposure for an advertiser. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Why Not Just Fix The Mess?

The Maven has become aware that management at WPTA has become aware of criticism of their error-filled newscasts by at least one former employee, and countless others. Another source indicates that an un-named media blogger has also caught the attention of the folks from Quincy.

The Maven understands that with anything new, there will be hiccups. But the hiring of an inept and domineering Chief Meteorologist and monotone anchor can't be chalked up to technical issues. Plus the abandoning of a 38 year-old logo, 21Alive has been considered foolish by many in the advertising and marketing community. The 21Alive moniker is the second most recalled brand in Fort Wayne, second only to the Fort Wayne Komets.

Now that WPTA management, and one would assume the suits in Quincy are aware that their product is being criticized publicly by persons considered to be experts on local media.....the Maven has a question: Will Quincy take these criticisms seriously and return their "product" to a state of acceptability, or will Quincy move to quash and quiet their critics in one manner or another? Would they do that? History provides us a few examples, read on.

A few years ago, a local anchor spent thousands of his own dollars to hire a private detective to find dirt on someone associated with an outfit called Fort Wayne Media Watch. No one knows if Mr. Edwards was successful in his efforts to identify Mr. Reynolds, but it is not beneath Fort Wayne media outlets to locate and harass their critics. The Maven recalls a WANE TV GM, many years ago, who lost his job, in part, because he attempted to intimidate a man who took the station to task, publicly for not taking a Bears game from CBS one weekend and substituting another game. The GM's attempt to get the man fired from his job did not sit well with those at WANE TV's corporate HQ, so the story goes that the GM left town and corporate had to write a 6-figure check.

So, how does Quincy react? Will they attempt to intimidate and silence their critics? The Maven thinks they would be smart to turn their efforts into improving their product, and leave those throwing stones alone.

And, by the way, Quincy, your NBC Fort Wayne news cast still hasn't premiered yet...it's two weeks late, and the Maven hears things are being pushed back further......New Years maybe?

A Point of Clarification:

With the exception of hiring that Clown Carlo, now famous for nearly pissing himself during a tornado outbreak.....most of the Maven's criticisms do not pertain to on-air personnel. Funny, cartoon-character names and bad hairstyles aside, the Maven has genuine empathy for those in front of the cameras who must endure technical and home-office, top-down mistakes and blunders. Clearly, the issues are caused by empty suits, sitting behind $4,000 oak desks in Quincy IL making decisions that affect the lives of their staff (many now former staff) their audience and those who feel compelled to advertise on the station.

One more thing: Has anyone seen Linda Jackson? How long will Quincy's blunders keep the NBC Fort Wayne newscasts on ice?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Old Habits....

For a low budget, tight bottom-line outfit, Quincy has dropped some serious coin on their remake of 21Alive. It's now ABC21, complete with new faces, fancy-looking news set, and a whiz-bang computer system that's eliminating support jobs left and right. Imagine, no one in the building after the 11pm news. 

But one thing remains constant. No one, apparently, knows how to type. 

Forget, for a moment, that this is a "victim" story about IPFW's Women's Studies program and the purported hate crimes committed against it. That's a story for another blogger to write. Instead, take a look at the grammatical disaster that 21Alive, uh, ABC21 has become famous for. 

The Maven will step aside and let ABC21's infamous brilliant hire, the now long-gone excitable chief meteorologist Carlo say those famous words of Maxwell Smart: "missed it by that much".

Monday, November 7, 2016

Who Is Leslie Munger?

Who is Leslie Munger? Besides being a fairly attractive blonde woman, she's also running for the office of State Comptroller........in Illinois.

Why she's appearing in banner ads on 21Alive's, ooops, WPTA21.COM's, web page is a mystery. 

Maybe the folks at Quincy haven't quite figured out that people in Indiana can't vote for candidates in Illinois (at least legally). The Maven wonders if folks in Illinois are enjoying those Lutheran Statewood ER banner ads which appear to be rotating along with Leslie's ads?

The Maven is quite impressed with the new layout of the 21Alive, oops, WPTA21.COM web page, and it's sure an improvement from what most of us saw this weekend. 

Like anything new, there seem to be a few bugs to work out. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Is this another Quincy Newspapers cost-cutting move? Is this a catastrophic server failure? Is this a Russian hacker? Or is this "Carlo's Revenge"?

Whatever it is, typing wpta.com or 21alive.com into your web browser gives mixed results like this:

Or this:

Remember this is the same TV station that brought us a female news anchor who spoke in an un-listenable monotone, and an excitable weatherman who nearly pissed himself during his first tornado.....so, anything is possible with these folks. 

Protecting Their Friends ?

In 2007, the Journal Gazette's Washington bureau chief Sylvia Smith wrote a set of revealing articles about Washington DC power couple Evan Bayh, and his wife Susan. These are important stories because they shed some insight into current allegations of lobbying lodged against Evan Bayh in his fight to regain a seat in the US Senate.  

Ms Smith wrote: "The intersection of the Bayh's professional lives illustrates the touchy ethical situation some couples face when one spouse is employed by the taxpayers to watch out for their interests and the other is dutybound to work for the financial interests of only a small group of people - the shareholders of the companies Susan Bayh directs."

Just one question. Why isn't the article available from the Journal Gazette? Is it because the Journal has endorsed Evan Bayh and they want to protect him from scrutiny, or do the news writers at the JG even know the article exists in their own archives? At any rate, it's a suspicious omission. But, the Maven is a suspicious sort of guy.

At any rate, the local blog Fort Wayne Observed has made the article available through links on their page. You can find Fort Wayne Observed and the link here:

Any bets that this story will suddenly become "available" again......sometime after November 8?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Facts Optional

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story" has, for centuries, been used to describe a biased or slanted news story. 

Taking that one step further, why bother with facts, when you can make stuff up to support your editorial position?

The Journal Gazette offers us a prime example of stating a fact with nothing to support the fact except their own words. In today's editorial the J-G weeps for Indiana Tech's dying law school .... AKA "the 20 million dollar mistake", and using made up "facts" to support their point. 

Uh, not so fast, kids. As a respected, former City Council President pointed out on his Twitter feed today, there are, in fact at least 3 law schools within 100 miles of Fort Wayne. They are Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law in beautiful Ada, OH, a breezy 78 miles down US30 from Fort Wayne. But wait, there's more. Also within 100 miles of our town is the College of Law at the University of Toledo, just a stone's throw from Toldeo's famous Tony Packo's and 95 miles up US 24. Last, but not least, is the Notre Dame Law School, within sight of Touchdown Jesus in South Bend, just 92 miles up the road. 

The point is this: The established media, newspapers included, can no longer get away with pissing on the reader's leg and tell them it's raining. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Crews and Leaders

The latest from the kids in the WOWO news room?

Glad you asked. 

Did you know that when you call 911, a crew will come to your house? Not the police, not the fire department, nor the EMS. No, a "CREW" will arrive. Hey, it says so in the news story below, and since WOWO news said it, it must be true. 

This example lends more credence to the thought that the kids in the WOWO news room are using templates to create their stories, or they are too lazy to type "police", or "fire department". Since "crew" has less letters to type there will be fewer broken fingernails, too. 

And then, one of the Maven's pet peeves:

"City leaders" is a gross mischaracterization of how our government works. The media referring to people like the head of the Parks Board, for example, a city "leader" gives the impression that the head of the Parks Board does not work for us, but is somehow a ruler or member of a ruling class with enhanced rights, privileges and powers well above those of ordinary, ignorant taxpayers/citizens. And it appears that our children in the media prefer to keep the mischaracterization alive and well.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

It's a Monday morning staple......the obligatory gasoline price story. Why Monday? Easy, usually nothing ever happens over the weekend and barring a murder or two, news is rather hard to come by. Also, a place called Lundberg issues a market report on the price of gas nationwide, and local media will "localize" the story to fill column-inches and electronic airwaves. 

This is a disposable story, meant to last no longer than the noon news.....why? Because things change. Sometimes drastically. 

For instance, when WOWO's gas story was "fresh", it was fairly accurate and timely. Then Fort Wayne gas merchants "adjusted" their prices after reading the Lundberg report and by evening, most Fort Wayne stations were sporting prices in the $2.28 range.....a far cry from the $1.89 just hours before. 

Now, let's not be too harsh on the kids in the WOWO news room, since all the other media in town ran a similar, if not same story. WOWO's only faux pax is that they did not take their story down, as all the others did, before the story became old and stale....

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Weekend News....Why?

If the folks at Quincy are really serious about cutting costs and enhancing their image in the market, the Maven would like to suggest cancelling their 21Alive weekend newscasts. 

A couple of things from today: The bright, cheery anchor-ette telling us that losing 350 jobs in Indy will, "completely cripple" the central Indiana economy. Now, the loss of that many jobs to Mexico is a shock, but our cute anchor-ette might want to find a more appropriate word. No, "devastate, demolish, destroy" are not acceptable, either. 

And the giggle-fest continued as the weather reporter-ette chuckled along about how yesterday's power outage at Glenbrook had impacted the shopping patterns for both of them. 

Then they wrapped up with the weather reporter-ette confusing a Hunters Moon with a Harvest Moon.....and which one we were having this weekend. 

Making salads at Pizza Hut must have been too challenging. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Maybe They Meant Composted?

Today's Friday F*up.....

A warning for WMEE 97.3.....this is what happens when you let the kids down the hall in the WOWO news room play with your smartphone. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ruh Roh! One R Too Many

The Maven is often asked "why do you worry so much about typos and other trivials that the media publish?"

Two answers easily come to mind. 

One is that the Maven is a cold and bitter man, left behind by an industry he once loved. One who finds nits to pick and axes to grind because he is no longer an influential member of the media. 

The other, and more honest answer is that the media loves to criticize and find fault, yet rarely, if ever acknowledge their own shortcomings, ineptitude and/or ignorance. 

It wasn't long ago that gray-haired grade school English teachers would wave around a copy of the local daily newspaper and admonish their students to "write like this. If it's in this newspaper, you know it's correct". That, was a while ago. Now, media, thanks to large corporate, profit-driven organizations must squeeze every penny of profit and will spare no effort in cutting corners and cheapening their product in order to make the shareholders happy. Couple that with a generation of kids writing news on iPads while sipping $6 coffee, living in their parent's basements who can't seem to be bothered with details of who, what, where, when and how....and you get results like this. 

And that, kids, brings us to today's example of laziness and lack of quality control. It is clear that no one at WANE TV reads their final product. 

Really? Reach and every day? Ruh roh is right. The likelihood of those words rolling off Chief Lahey's tongue and few and far between....unless, of course, you reside in the WANE TV news room. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How Do You Spell Yamaha?

You are writing a news story involving a motorcycle wreck. 

The brand of motorcycle is a Yamaha and you are not sure how to spell Yamaha.

Do you
(A) Phone a friend?   (B) Make something up? or
(C) Look at the damn photo to see how the manufacturer spells it? 

At WPTA 21Alive the spell-check is disabled. At WANE TV, they don't use it. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

They Issued A WHAT?

Yes, friends. The Maven is fully aware that law enforcement authorities issue a myriad of things in their official capacity. It's very common to hear about advisories, warnings and warrants being issued. However, the Maven has never heard, seen, or read about a raid being issued. Yes, a drug raid was "issued". Our local journalists reported it, so, it must be true!

The nimble news writers at 21Alive, or ABC21 or, NBC33 or, not-so-WISE TV, or whatever they have branded themselves this week.....are reporting that Indiana State Police have "issued" a drug raid upon a local business. Back in the day, authorities used to "conduct" raids, not issue them.

First, the cost-cutter, bean-counters at the home office in Quincy disabled the spell-check on newsroom computers to save a buck. Now, they have, apparently removed the essence of common sense from the newsroom, as well. 

In these days of consolidation, programming hubs, and "economies of scale"....this is what the future of absentee-owned, local media looks like. And we just swallow the codswallop and beg for more.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Cheap Shot

Latest cost-cutting move at Quincy? 

Apparently, they cancelled the spell-check function on newsroom computers. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Which Story?

  • Which story is easier to understand?
  • Which story contains extraneous pieces of "cop speak"?
  • Which story tells you a story? 
  • Which story is a jumble of facts, thrown together in a convoluted manner?
  • Which story uses complicated words, when simpler ones will do?
  • Which story is cut and pasted from a police press release?
  • Which story was written by a reporter who personally gathered the facts?
  • Which story was assembled by a glorified stenographer?

The choice is yours...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pass The Brownies, DUDE!

Seems the kids in the WOWO news room must have SMOKED their lunch today. 

For the giggling news kids....it's Commission on HIGHER Education, not HIGH Education.

The Maven, at first, chalked this up to WOWO's usual careless and sloppy journalistic practices, butchering words and grammar....however, considering some of the crazy things our state legislature has passed in recent sessions, Indiana might well have a commission for stoned college students. Sounds legit.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dumbass Attack

It's been suggested by a fellow that trolls this page, that the Maven is wasting his time pointing out each and every little miscue or misspelled word that our local media manage to pass off as journalism. However, considering the Maven has nothing better to do, this blog will continue. After all, most of these stories write themselves. 

Today tidbits include a ditty from the geographically-challenged 21Alive and after a long absence, WOWO's news director's typing skills remain as abysmal as ever.

From 21Alive..... 

WALTERLOO? Is that near ALLBURN? (sounds legit)

And from Fort Wayne's Macaroni award-winning station, we have this......

Pass the lip gloss.....

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's An Epidemic

Media continues to be their own worst enemy when it comes to credibility and trust. 

In a day and age when even grade school children know what heroin is, one would think that those who practice journalism, or play a journalist on TV, would at least know how to spell the damn word. 

Guess not. 

The Indianapolis Star:

It's a Gannett paper, but still there is a difference between an illegal drug and a big bird.

Of course, Fort Wayne's own WPTA suffered a similar issue with the word a while back:

Even the folks at the Hooterville World Guardian AKA the New Bern NC News Observer were confused:

When we hear talk about "drug education" in our schools, perhaps the newsrooms of America should also be included in that conversation.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Press Releases, Lawyers, And The Kids In The Newsroom

The Modern News Cycle:

One: Company PR department writes a press release

Two: Company lawyers review and revise the press

Three: Company sends press release to the media

Four: The media cut and paste pieces and parts of the press release into a news story

Result: Crap sandwich news story

......has all the warmth and clarity of a used car purchase agreement.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WOWO News - Rear-Ending Audiences Everywhere!

From the kids in the WOWO news room.....

The Maven hopes the man recovers from being 'rear-ended' (can only imagine how painful that might be). 

Hope his trailer is OK, as well.

WOWO, your Macaroni Award-winning station.

Monday, August 22, 2016

15 Finds Out.....eventually

The Maven saw this go by on Facebook, and just had to check it out. 

We can always "count on" our friends at WANE TV to bring us the latest news.....even if it's a month or two old. In the news biz, we call that stale

Tonight's big story: 

An important story? Yes. A timely story? Not so much. 

While the anchor team breathlessly told us about the skyrocketing cost of this life-saving device, other media had the story last week.

Another had it six weeks ago:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Stumble Bums

Here's why the newscasters on WANE TV stumble through the news......

The folks that write the news, leave out a word now and then.

And all this time, we thought they were just drunk. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Journal Gazette Throws A Curve

It's no secret that 100% of the news that the local audience ingests comes from one source....the Journal Gazette. Every news outlet relies on the morning paper to set the tone and agenda for what gets reported. 

So, when the Maven spied the word PAUCITY in a recent Journal Gazette story, the Maven got quite a chuckle. The reason for the words presence in the story is very clear. The J-G writer wanted to throw a curve ball at those in the electronic media who would eventually rewrite and regurgitate the story and pass it off to their audiences as their own work. To the Maven's knowledge PAUCITY did not make it into the electronic media stories, however the Maven (and the Journal Gazette writer) would have loved to see the kids in the WOWO news room scratching around to find a dictionary to decipher this "new" word. 

Well done, Journal Gazette. Well done. 

And just in case you misplaced your dictionary....