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.