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AJC Reader nails the state of the biz

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Matt1735, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Well-Known Member

    http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/tuck/stories/2007/07/27/inside_0728.html?cxntlid=inform

    The AJC had an open house, and this reader just nailed it:

    Virginia Murray, who traded a vacation day at the beach to be with us, said she held the visit to a very high standard.

    "It was great fun to spend an afternoon among people who enjoy the newspaper as much as I do. All in all, though, I left feeling a little sad," she said.

    "Essentially, I heard that the AJC is now my local-news supplement, that you not only expect but encourage me to find other news elsewhere. It kind of felt as if my husband had said, 'Go ahead and have affairs —I know you're looking at other guys anyway. I'll just strive to be really good at mowing your lawn.'

    But at least all the chains are making their 20 percent profit.
     
  2. Highway 101

    Highway 101 Active Member

    Nice anecdote.
     
  3. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    She's right.

    Publishing briefs and shorter stories, stupid shit on A-1 instead of news, and pushing readers to leave the core product for other outlets or electronic media to get deeper information isn't smart. But that's what is being done.

    Pages that appear to be designed by first-year journalism students with Sharpie pens and a 6-pack don't help either.
     
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Proof again of the enduring problem with this industry-assuming its customers are not as smart, or in fact, much smarter than those putting out the product.
    Becoming "your local news source" is shorthand for "you're a rube." People get that. And they don't like it one bit.
     
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Bingo. I think that perception also comes with a mindset that what we do is so complex with all its subjectivity and whatnot that people who aren't in the business or didn't go to four years (or more) of J-school won't get it.

    Bullshit.

    Yes, there are the Mamie Makeayards who's upset that her little Johnnie Makeayard's late touchdown in a 70-7 blowout wasn't mentioned prominently in a story. But that doesn't mean there aren't people who get the problems with the profession. That doesn't mean there aren't people out there who have valid suggestions or can understand why plagiarism is such a thorny issue.

    I'll say it until the day I croak: Journalism ain't rocket science.
     
  6. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    More papers should do those sorts of things. I wish mine would.
     
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