Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lazy Or Inept? It's Still WOWO

It's clear that no one in this market reads their finished product. Even those who were forced to attend public schools can realize that the writer of this plain, ordinary news story meant to say "the reduction of employees" instead of "the reduce of employees".

Please note and remember this news story, as it's a perfect example of why one should check their work before publishing it. Yes, those keen iPads and iPhones are great for writing news stories on the go, but beware. The Devil's in the details and goes by the name of AutoCorrect. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Another Story FW Media Won't Cover

Media in Fort Wayne have an annoying habit of bending over backwards to protect clients that advertise heavily with them. 

Here's a story you probably won't see on TV, hear on the radio or read in the paper because some general manager is afraid of losing his bonus and cushy condo in Florida. 

From Facebook (the Maven has blurred the names to protect identities but can confirm they are talking about Carmike at Jefferson Pointe):

Just remember, the media is not journalism, it's a profit-generating machine, nothing more, nothing less.

Stupid Media Tricks

Stupid Media Trick One: Early Sunday morning listeners to K105 were treated to Christmas music and holiday greetings, as the FedMed country outlet ran a 3 week-old episode of Randy Owen's Country Classics program. 

Stupid Media Trick Two: WANE TV's inter-web content person gave Facebook viewers a different angle on a story.

Uh, kids, here's how the photo should look....

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Click Bait? Journalistic Fraud? 

If you're foolish enough to click the link found in your Facebook feed, you'll find the story is not about Fort Wayne's mayor or Allen County's sheriff. The story actually happened to a mayor and sheriff in Portsmouth VA. 

Why didn't WANE TV tell you that before you clicked? Because this is a cheap and dirty way to increase the "clicks" and "page views" of the web site. The more clicks, the more ad revenue. They are counting on you believing the story is about Fort Wayne to entice you to "click". 

The WANE story is here:

It's clear to the Maven that WANE TV seems to play by their own set of rules, and that apparently includes deceiving their viewers.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Run-On Sentence Award Goes To.......

The kids in the WOWO news room.

Here's the story:

Oh, and extra style points for redundancy for "the man's name has not yet been released publicly." 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

WANE TV Confused As Usual

The Maven is also confused.

The President will meet with the Attorney General on Monday.

But WANE TV won't have reaction until Saturday? 

So, Breaking News takes 6 days to get on the air. Are you people drunk?

Maven's Year End Review

As 2016 is underway, here is a look back at the antics of Fort Wayne media for the now, departed, 2015. 

The first week of 2015 saw a fire at the Coliseum Inn that left many people homeless. In true Fort Wayne media form, the numbers of people displaced varied widely.

Fuzzy math? Bad addition, or maybe different numbers from different sources....still makes media look foolish. 

Also from January, 2015, our friends in the WOWO news room faced challenges of their own. A simple city election confused them in the area of spelling and the fact that a sitting officeholder is re-elected if they win. 

Moving on to February, WOWO news found an even easier way of cutting and pasting from press releases. Rather than retype the facts (and run the risk of another spelling error) they simply took a screen shop of an official announcement and published it. No muss, no fuss, gotta love that iPad. 

That iPad came in handy for WOWO in March when reporting a robbery of a pizza restaurant. However it didn't help that the kids in the news room called the establishment a pizza "joint". They lifted the story from 21Alive, but WPTA called the business as a pizza "place". Hey kids, "cute" doesn't work well in news reporting.

Also in March, every Fort Wayne media outlet reported on a shooting in the Piere's parking lot. Every outlet except WANE TV, who reported a generic location, and never identified Piere's by name. The Maven wonders if WANE is shielding Piere's from bad publicity. (yes 21Alive screwed up the spelling of Piere's, but that's how the police press release spelled it)

To wrap up March, WANE TV had a little difficulty understanding Indiana's new Religious Freedom law. No wonder this issue created a firestorm when even the media gets it wrong. 

The Maven thinks that should say "protect against religious discrimination".

April saw the Maven take issue with news stories that are designed to do nothing but inflame and frighten the audience. WANE TV served up a text book example of a series that was long on "we're all gonna die", but very short on facts. 

Alarmism you can count on. 

April also saw the News Sentinel run a ridiculous headline, stating an obvious fact, yet ignoring the bigger story of how out of town consultants recycle money back to local political campaigns. 

Wrapping up April, the Maven noted a story that makes any General Manager cringe. File this under "do as I say, not as I do". A motorcyclist, with a GoPro camera attached to his helmet and obeying all applicable traffic laws, caught a 21Alive staffer texting and driving, while driving a 21Alive station vehicle. Looking at the still photos, and the video, it's clear from the young woman's face that she's texting, and then realizes that she's been busted. Don't text and drive.....unless you are the privileged media.

The video is still available here:

The May political primary had a few surprises. And it looks like the Journal Gazette took general delight in City Councilman Tom Smith losing to his primary challenger. 

The Maven thinks they would have used "shit-canned" if they thought they could get away with it.

Closing in on the end of May, 21Alive illustrated their complete misunderstanding of the controversial Indiana Toll Road lease. 

The first sentence of the story is false. The fact of the matter is that the toll road continues to be owned by the citizens of the State of Indiana, however, the company that leases the toll road had a change in ownership. Simple? Not for those writing the news at 21Alive. 

The last day of May saw WOWO news take the stroll into advocacy journalism, although the Maven is not sure they would know what that is or how they did it.
Clearly, the news story asks listeners to do something, a call to action. They provided a link, but at least they didn't share a phone number. The Maven thinks this may have been a cut and paste from a press release. That's how they roll. 

As June began, two Fort Wayne media outlets committed the unpardonable journalistic sin. Media does not name suicide victims. 

Shame on WOWO and WANE TV for identifying a suicide victim by name. Yes, there are exceptions, but the victim is not a celebrity nor a notorious person. No other media outlet identified the victim by name. 

Quiz time. Was this story written by a journalist, an intern, or a police information officer?  Officer, they seem to like the word

Have you ever clicked on an internet link and found yourself answering questions or taking a survey? Someone in the WANE TV news room did just that in August and managed to find a "news story". 
The sponsor of the link turned out to be a fly-by-night, web-only real estate blog. WANE TV gave this company free advertising at the expense of local, spot-buying real estate firms. The "story" was on their web site until it was wisely taken down. 

The month of August saw WANE TV show their ignorance if basic Fort Wayne geography. 

Hint: State and Inwood is NOT in northwest Fort Wayne. Try again, kids.

As September began, Best FM 95.1 apparently decided that Best wasn't good enough and pulled the plug on the format and their annoying morning show. Also the station stopped playing "Take Me To Church" 3 times before noon each day.

Management wisely reverted back to the much-loved and recognizable Majic 95.1 format and name. 

WANE TV isn't the only "directionally challenged" news operation. The folks at 21Alive need to visit Columbia City more often and they might learn that US 30 runs East-West and not North-South. 

September also was the month that Fort Wayne residents were reminded that we are a 2 newspaper town, with 2 editorial voices. From looking at the tweets from each paper, it's clear to see each has an opinion and each follows their own agenda. 

Add caption

County artist Luke Bryan brought his tour to town at the end of September, announcing plans for an outdoor show at a New Haven area farm. Many of the details were decided at the last minute and many fans were scrambling to get information. WOWO sister station K105 plastered their name all over the show, but when pressed for information by a listener, the K105 person tried to bluff and insult the listener. The listener's name and likeness has been blurred to protect their identity. 

Adding insult to injury, K105 also bobbled the maps for entering and leaving the venue by confusing the labels. Of course, they blamed Allen County for the mixup. 

New stories are always more efficient if they give readers all the details. Lots of information in the story, except where the event would be held and the time it would begin. News Sentinel dropped the ball on this one.

With a City election 4 weeks away, it's always helpful if everyone involved in supporting the incumbent candidate is on the same page. In October Fort Wayne postal customers received the flashy campaign piece, but then opened their newspapers to a troubling headline that seemed to contradict the nice, slick direct mail peice. The media giveth, and the media taketh away. 

October also saw the folks at WANE TV perform a first. They presented a news story about an accident that had yet to happen. Note that the news story mentions 5:20pm, but the story was seen by readers much earlier in the day. WANE TV Future News is born!

Just days before the City election, NBC33 showed their undying support for the incumbent mayor by using sound bites of his voice in their on-air announcements promoting their news casts. No other person, politician or candidate appeared in the promos. In addition, NBC33 floated at BS story about the campaign using new, cutting edge technology.......which was invented in 1994 and mostly discarded by many social media advertisers a few years ago. 

The Maven is unsure what NBC33 got in return for their in-kind campaign contribution.  The Federal Election Commission and FCC might ask the same question.  

One of the biggest stories of the year was allegations of shenanigans in the City Clerk's office. The Maven complimented to work of the News Sentinel's Kevin Leininger in breaking and reporting the story. At the same time the Maven noted that the questionable antics in the Clerk's office had been going on for 30 years, no one in the media dared to report on them. That is, until hours and hours of video tape were placed on Mr. Leininger's desk.....then, all bets were off. 

The City election aside, the Maven had little to snark about in November with the exception of WANE TV insisting that West State boulevard intersected with Spy Run Creek. While the street goes over the body of water, they don't "intersect".  WANE also had difficulty explaining if Spy Run Creek was a ditch, a creek, a river, or drain. WANE also had trouble understanding that West State is not a road.


WANE also suffered a poorly timed "B" roll incident during a 6pm newscast on 11/24. While the female anchor read a story about Snider High School being evacuated due to a report of smoke in the building (false alarm) viewers saw full-screen B-roll video of the previous story about the deadly house explosion in Ashley, last night. While the the anchor properly and efficiently read the Snider story, we were treated to 15-20 seconds of video of the smoking remains and rubble of a house explosion. Uh, not good. 

And finally in the Maven's year end review, best wishes to Melissa Long who left her anchor position at 21Alive. Melissa was old school but was still hip enough to appeal to a wide demographic. With new owners coming in to turn things upside down, Melissa's choice to leave while on top is a superb choice. It's too bad the idiots in the booth totally screwed up a well-meant graphic.