How To Report The News

Dateline: Fri 29 Jan 2010


Jeff [unverified] said:

By George, I think he's got it!

2010-01-30 10:11:55

hendy [Member] said:

I stole it and pasted into Facebook. Great work, that.

2010-01-30 13:47:51

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Lighthouse keeper beheaded by a laser beam. Jolly good stuff.

This ought to be standard fare for every electronic news class in America. And...every assignment editor in this bland city. We're chock-full of this drivel.

One thing I'd added: a diatribe about news judgment. Just because an assignment editor sends a camera and reporter to a story, does not mean there IS a story. How many times in this market, have we seen a story that was not worthy of reporting? Ch. 8 doe sit with their lead half the time. WIBC is the radio equivalent of that, although their news department is a fraction of its former self. Even when they were large, they followed this pattern.

For whatever reason, perhaps declining space, the print folks don't seem to fall into my example above.

Thus endeth my diatribe. Amen.

2010-01-31 06:14:32

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

God bless trenchant Brit humor. This is hilarious! And completely on the mark.

"For whatever reason, perhaps declining space, the print folks don't seem to fall into my example above."

That is because newspapers cannot afford to print the pages filled with puffery any longer. Heavens knows the Star and News and Times did their bit for puffery. When the editor sends someone out on assignment, the reporter had better return with something to justify their paycheck.

TV is a more obvious culprit because the non-news filler is in your face. I am thankful for DVR, for so many reasons, not least being able to watch an NFL game in a little over an hour and for the forthcoming ability to skip through the bloated Super Bowl XIVXXILMM commercials; and for being able to make the news talking heads make funny fast-forward faces without listening to them.

2010-01-31 07:51:24

Just Call Me Sue [unverified] said:

Once upon a time I phoned my editor to say "there's no story here".

The response was curt: "There's a story everywhere. Look for it."

I did, and, by golly, there was!

The problem, methinks, is not "the story", but the reporters/editors who wouldn't recognize news if it bit them on the ankle.

2010-01-31 15:15:42

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

That is a problem too, Sue...but believe me, the angel I noted above is rampant in news today.

You can usually tell by the breathless reporting on a non-story. It's overkill. I heard three no-stories, or what I call "dateless puff" this morning on Ch. 8.

We had a double-killing in a home on the far northside...but Ch. 8 had it as fourth or fifth story in the lineup. After some drivel.

It seems that station's news team was perhaps a little, uh...late to the game yesterday. There were no "visuals" to go with the tragic murder story except outside house shots. Which could've been the Realty Channel listing homes for sale. And the facts on the surface of this story demand some digging. Forty-two year old father of several, just bought the home last fall, fixing it up, killed with a much younger man, kids in the house, heard nothing, etc. etc. Tragic gut-wretching stuff.

But the Colts souvenir merchandise story was could've run anytime. We do bleed blue, I guess.


And what's this I see about The Star sending 16 folks to the Super Bowl? And BRAGGING about it? Pray tell, what looney angle will Matt Tulley pull from amongst the sun and sand?

This, after Mr. Milz scolds us on p-1 yesterday, extolling the virtues of mentoring and telling us the Star's management will basically force all employees to volunteer. What the hell was all the righteous indignation about? On this decades-old story? Important, but...where's the news judgment?

Does Mr. Milz need a reality check? Hell he's qualified to serve on IPS's board of ed.


2010-02-01 07:48:41

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

**Angle, not angel. Although I am searching for media luck lately...

2010-02-01 07:50:42

Just Call me Sue [unverified] said:

I'm with you on the Colts overkill, TTT. Why the Star would need 16 people in Miami is beyond me. (IMHO, "we" don't even need one, 'cause we can get all we need from teevee and AP.)

Unless some of them are doing original reporting on Haitian refugees. Ooops. Sorry. There I go dreaming about "real" journalism again!

2010-02-01 11:30:50

hendy [Member] said:

Now now. You've all gotten a bit geezerish in your old ages.

For lots of fun, try this link, and please read the comments. Don't drink any beverages whilst doing so:

2010-02-01 11:48:25

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

The excessive Colts coverage- special sections every week, sometimes 2x- are a revenue producer and one of the few things the Star can profitably pimp.

Yegods you'd think they MUST be running out of Colts subjects to write about.

But wait- perhaps they are using the Star's Random Word Generator, and simply rearranging story content week after week. With a different lead and a couple graphs and sidebar, they have a new story (nobody reads the whole thing anyway).

This is genius. It is clear Star management is taking the entire Star newsroom to the Super Bowl, all 16 bodies, with their Random Word Generators. They will put words in the can, and turn them into many new Colts stories, written in advance and sufficient for any occasion or eventuality, enough for all of 2010.

Star management can then put the 16-member news department to more profitable pursuits, like selling advertising.

2010-02-01 15:30:03

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

LMAO Tom. Precious stuff.

Geezerish? Ta think, Hendy?

I'm just trying to determine how and why a leaner/meaner newsroom can send its political columnist to the Super Bowl. It wouldn't be so bad if Mr. Milz hadn't waxed poetic about budget cuts and smaller staff...more than once in recent months. As a subscriber and sometimes-advertiser, I feel used.

It's like loaning my cousin $200 and the next day he's driving a new sports car. Huh? Double-take like the cartoon heads whipping about.

It's inconsistent. To say the least. Tully has a great series on Manual, and we're supposed to forget several years of laziness? And for this Manual series he gets a trip to Miami?

They have no shame over in Star management. So sense of proportion.

2010-02-01 15:43:02

hendy [Member] said:

I'm guessing they're sending everyone as a perk. Perks are good when morale is bad is the probable psychology.

And what a freaking perk! Although I'm not a blue flag waver (not a fan of pro football), it is a community uniting force. What a great gift.

The other issues are separate. Now that I get to read the Herald Tribune (others call it the Herald Telephone, its former name).... more of the NY Times, and even the Louisville Courier Journal, I'm so vastly not impressed by the output of The Star.

But it gives rise for others to cash-in on alternative news sources. I watched the Apple iPad announcement, and you'll see some of the newspapers that have signed up for the iPad format. I'm up for it..... but not for a while. I need motivation to change my habits, and so far there's not much motivating me. Tully isn't one of them. If Tom Keating rose from the grave, or Ruth herself came back, or Carpenter was given a chance to edge out Swarens, who knows? It's a small town newspaper at this point, as in Westfield, Noblesville, Carmel, even Danville. It's no more the Indianapolis Star as I'm a monkey's uncle.

Ah for the Indianapolis Times.... but I'm too old to remember that. Geezer alert!

2010-02-01 16:09:37

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