Monday, July 24, 2017

Sighting The Cited Site

From our friends at Adams Radio Group, this little gaffe. 

As any 6th-grader can explain, when sharing something on Facebook, you have the option to add your own comment at the top of the item shared.

In this case, someone at the fast-growing radio conglomerate is apparently not familiar with English as a first language. 

This has to be a language thing. How else could one confuse CITE for SITEThe folks at put it into words that even disc jockeys can understand: "CITE is short for citation, SITE a place, and SIGHT is what your eyeballs are for". Not quite the way the Maven might explain it, but good enough for media work. 

Confusion and lack of detail are nothing new to Adams Radio Group. Many will recall a principal of the group coming to town and boasting the move of sister station WXKE's programming to the 96.3 spot would make them a "50,000-watt station". 

"Wait, make that "equivalent" to a 50,000-watt station. Same thing, right?"

"Oh, no! Sorry, it's equivalent to a 25,000-watt station. Yeah, that's the ticket!"

Finally, the ego-driven dust was settled and reality finally reared its ugly head when a bright reporter checked the official FCC license and allocation validating the 25,000-watt level, but also noting that due to the station's antenna being high above the allocated height for the B1 license class, WXKE was allowed to broadcast a respectable, but lower 8,400 watts. 

50,000 to 8,400. What's a few watts between friends, right?

Here's the official FCC record: (caution, WXKE sales people may not know this)

And attention to detail?  

Aren't you kids missing open parentheses on the phone number? Like (260-483-9393)?

Of course, the Maven hasn't dialed the number, but odds are, they got that correct. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Choose A, B or C

Let's have some Friday Fun.

Notice the sentence circled in RED, below.

Now, choose the answer that best explains the error.

A = No one reads the excrement they write.

B = No one is smart enough to recognize an error has been made.

C = No one really cares because they plan on being in a larger market by this time next year. 

Here's your puzzle, choose wisely. 

Actually, the answer is D "all of the above". 

Anyone can make a mistake, right? But WANE TV seems to have elevated errors to an art form. Here are just a few from the Maven's collection:

Who could forget this "stinker"?

How about that time that WANE TV published a news story at 10:39 in the morning that was going to happen that afternoon at 5:20? Future News! 

Then there was the confusion about what a Tractor Pull looks like. The folks in Arcola sure got chuckle out of this one: 

While this all might seem a little embarrassing to some, others take all this in stride. In fact, rumor is that the kids in the WANE TV marketing department are crafting a new positioning statement. 

Wait for it....(maven has been waiting a long time to use that line)

Tada: "WANE TV at least we're not WPTA21". 

Catchy, huh?  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Adjectives "B" Us

The AP Stylebook is very clear on the use of adjectives in news stories. "When in doubt, leave it out, if you have to use one, make sure it is the right one." 

Since WPTA21 is owned by an outfit named Quincy Newspapers, one would think that there might be an AP Stylebook floating around their news room. Guess not.

"....Saturday's dangerous boating accident..."

While one might argue that all accidents could be seen as dangerous, res ipsa loquiturthe adjective used in this story is wrong. 

Giving the kids in the WPTA21 newsroom the benefit of the doubt that an adjective might be needed to convey the gravity of the situation, DANGEROUS should have been discarded and the word SERIOUS would have been a much better fit.  

But why pepper stories with incorrect or inappropriate adjectives? As local TV news operations across the country have struggled to regain their one-time dominance of local ratings and revenue, many "consultants" (every TV station has one) have worked to have stories written to emotionally impact the viewers. The idea is that viewers will "connect" at an emotional level and this will enhance ratings, revenues, and profit. 

From the Maven's point of view, the over-reliance on out-of-town consultants by local stations has not improved things, instead, these long-distance charlatans have made local TV news a cliche, at best. 

While the Maven might be coming down a bit hard on the kids at WPTA21, one has to be thankful that on Saturday, our Twitter feeds were not blown up with Baba, the News Whisperer, and that other guy on the news falling all over themselves and breathless reporting an ACTIVE BOATER on Lake Gage. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Which Is It?

Fort Wayne's bold initiative to redevelop the riverfront will continue, thanks to City Council giving it's OK to an increase in the local income tax rate. 

While the supporters of the increase have tossed around various numbers purporting to show how little the small increase will impact local taxpayers, there seems to be a dispute as to whether that pittance will be measured by households, residents or individuals. 

It seems that there's a general consensus that the impact will affect households, yet the kids in the WOWO news room  seem to believe that each county resident, meaning every man, woman, child, and billy-goat will have to cough up some cash. 

And, it is indeed strange that WOWO would be the odd man out here, since usually they copy off of someone else's paper. Could this be independent thought, or, a complete ignorance of the facts?

So, kids, which is it? 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

He Said, She Said?

Following up on Fridays "ACTIVE not ACTIVE SHOOTER story. 

WPTA21, as well as other FW media who cut and paste from their website, called it an ACTIVE SHOOTER situation. Was it? FWPD says, no. 

It started with this:

An hour later, we get this, telling us police have confirmed an ACTIVE SHOOTER:

Then the News Sentinel puts the issue to rest this way:

Whom to believe? The lady that "whispers" the news? Or the Fort Wayne Police spokesman? 

For the Maven, it's an easy decision. 

Tweets courtesy Mitch Harper's Instagram account.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Police Cars Wearing Handcuffs


A phrase that strikes terror into the hearts of civilians.

For our local media the phrase means: report inaccurate misinformation from incomplete reports, and create conjecture from information provided by readers/listeners/viewers via social media. Then, absent "facts", report quickly and breathlessly, only to have to constantly revise stories to more accurately reflect the truth. 

What began as an ACTIVE SHOOTER cruising downtown shooting at anything and everything with an AK47 assault rifle, became an ACTIVE SHOOTER shooting at downtown towers (?) just east of downtown. Later, Fort Wayne Police tweeted out the facts. 

Yes, facts. Those pesky little things that get in the way of a great news story. 

  • Facts have been known to throw cold water on most any news story that our local media dream up from incomplete information, guesses, conjecture, and social media reports. 
  • Facts also have been know to dash the dreams of young "journalists" looking to enhance their resume reel and career as well as their station's ratings and revenue. 
But WPTA21 stands behind their story. 

The Maven guesses that includes all the inaccuracies and conjecture in their story? (Which has now been revised to bring it closer to the realm of reality). The "towers downtown" are not the same as the "East Central towers east of downtown". Active Shooter wasn't meant to panic the public and glue eyes to WPTA21? Clearly there is a difference between "an AK-47" and "an AK-47-like rifle". Uh huh. Got it. 

One bright spot, the Maven can always count on the kids in the WOWO news room to provide a chuckle........a police vehicle wearing handcuffs. 

If WOWO reports it, you know it must be true.