Keeping the Indy Star mediocre

Dateline: Wed 29 Jul 2015


   The problem at the Indianapolis Star is not with the reporting staff, stretched thin tho it is.

   It's a top-down issue: executive editor Jeff Taylor is not a newspaperman, in heart, mind or spirit. Thus his expectations for producing news stories are low, and the staff knows it. 

    During the last reorganization, most reporters at the paper were deemed projects or investigative reporters. Nobody is a general assignment reporter anymore, altho there is a small breaking news team which concentrates on police and crime.

    No wonder the paper seems thin when it comes to breaking, hard news. 

    Here's an anecdote that illustrates the source of the problem.

    Gannett likes to play games, and one game at the old building (307 N. Penn) was to gather staff together with the five or six leadership team members on display, perched on chairs on a stage. Staff members were fed a sentence or two about a team leader, then got to guess which person it applied to. Can you imagine this happening in a real newsroom? 

    Here was one hint: 'His professor in college tried to dissuade him from going into news, telling him instead he should pursue a career in public relations, because he just did not have what it takes to be a newsman.'

    No surprise. The mystery man with the bent to PR is Taylor. God help us that anyone in management found this amusing enough to share with reporters. But then, truth to power.

    No surprise that Taylor does not expect much from anyone, including Alvie Lindsay, a leadership team dude who is responsible for investigative projects and business reporting (however, with only one biz reporter left, as noted in yesterday's blog post, there's precious little to direct).

   The newsroom atmosphere is so sluggish -- and morale is so low among reporters -- that a recent news story was slugged "Another lame weather story."

     Meanwhile, the numbers continue to slide for Gannett, both in print/paper readers and digital hints. More on that in an upcoming post, thanks to emails from publisher Karen Crotchfelt Ferguson Fuson. At least, someone at IndyStar got what she wanted (a new husband, again).








Gene Poole [unverified] said:

You'd think she'd marry for a name change...

2015-07-29 19:42:00

john [unverified] said:


2015-08-04 01:41:16

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