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Charlotte's Vast White Void

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Duespayer, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. Duespayer

    Duespayer New Member

    Duke made it to the title game, right?
    It's what The Charlotte Observer's two-deck headline lauded: "Blue Devils thunder to NCAA title game."
    There's an early action shot of Miles Plumlee dunking.
    There's a cutline and a Butler teaser for Page 7C.
    And ...
    Nothing but a vast white void. I live one exit north of Charlotte and no Duke copy on the front. WOW!!!!
    Who hit the button on that one? Who checks the pages?
    That cerntainly trumps the two inches of creative white space for the NBA boxes (here's a new concept: NBA leaders for filler?????)
    I'm staring at the front now ... WOW!!!!!!
  2. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Saw the title and thought this would be a more provocative story line.
  3. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Yes, I thought this would be about the racial make-up of the Charlotte Bobcats or something.

    YGBFKM Guest

  5. Hank

    Hank New Member

    Being a Charlotte native, I still subscribe to the paper by mail. Why, I have no idea.

    It is a truly wretched section — most of the writing (except Tysiac), the odd news judgment decisions, the layout, all of it. The department has been hurt by layoffs — and by having to run the Raleigh paper's awful, amateur college content. (Think of the Indy Star's illustration but in words. That's Raleigh).

    It's a crying shame — the Observer is the one paper that still has quite a bit of space in sports — 8-9 pages on average weekdays. It's a bunch of gamers, notebooks and wire.

    I happen to be in town this weekend. Yesterday's section had facing full pages breaking down both Final Four games. They were written (poorly) by the same person. Same categories and everything.

    But apparently not the same designers (or proofers). One page was in serif, one sans. The photos and layout were exactly the same, but all the words were done differently — one page in 11 pt, one in 8. Different headline fonts.

    It's the kind of thing you see daily in this section.

    YGBFKM Guest

    That would be embarrassing for a podunk weekly. To have something like that in a major metropolitan daily kinda says it all. I know a lot of talented people who have been through Charlotte. Hard to imagine the paper, especially sports, could have fallen so far so fast.
  7. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    I'm amazed to read these comments. That's one cocky bunch at the Observer. It's actually nice to see them taken down a peg. Hate it for the readers, though.
  8. Torri

    Torri New Member

    They have nothing to be cocky about, that's for damn sure.

    They do a good job covering the Bobcats, and I agree: Tysiac is good. The rest is painful. Dreadful.

    Using Raleigh copy — bad, bad college copy — hurts them. They have a 1-man high school crew, post-layoffs. They recently started using the Rock Hill guy (in the chain) to cover the PANTHERS. He's been in the paper far more than the beat guy, the STAFF WRITER, Charles Chandler.

    It strikes me as a lazy, very uncreative staff. And there's no imagination with the section. Yesterday's large centerpiece was an ode to Coach K. It'd been at least 2 hours since someone had written one of those.

    Sammy is right: They have gobs of space, and they waste it every day. It hasn't fallen as far as the AJ-C because the AJ-C was at a much higher level to begin with, but it's definitely fallen ... to near-irrelevant status.

    On the bright side, I'll tell you 2 papers I've been impressed with when I've seen them whole traveling the last few months: the Miami Herald (lots of interesting stuff, pretty creative) and the Detroit Free-Press (I know they don't do home delivery like they once did but the product I've seen 3 times the last few months has been damn good, just loaded with staff content and sharp-looking).
  9. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    C'mon. How cocky could anyone possibly be in this woebegone era of print journalism?

    I used to think I was good. Now I realize I'm expendable just like everybody else.
  10. bl67550

    bl67550 Member

    I won't pretend to know much about the actual paper, but I do keep track of the Observer coverage online daily.

    Just from that section alone, I can compare my feelings on their material to that of Hanks. It's wretched. The most interesting item to get a post concerning the Panthers recently was this garbage with Todd McShay's thoughts on the Panthers' draft plans that the Observer's beat writers felt was more important than posting 'their own' feelings on the Panthers' draft plans. Since when is a reporter a source and his teleconference news-worthy material?

    They don't seem to think for themselves, they report the basics, often well past the national media outlets (ESPN) and they fail time and again to provide any true insight into the team.

    When Jake Delhomme was cut there were two stories and a photo spread of Delhomme's greatest moments. One story was to announce his departure, another story was to announce his signing by the Browns.

    You'd think a guy that had been here for seven years and got cut suddenly and surprisingly, would feed the section for days. Not.

    Every once in a while there will come across a feature that is at least worth reading, never much more than that. Any real news is blandly and succinctly stated and that's it.

    Bonnel does a good job with the Bobcats, but so what? Nobody cares about the Bobcats. Fowler is a good columnist but he is wasted more often than not through simple elaboration of a subject that has already been well covered. Lately he's been Bonnel's sidekick at the Bobcats games. Bonnel needs no sidekick, one guy for the Bobcats will suit just fine.

    My dream job used to be the Observer, now, eh.
  11. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    TTIWWO (a PDF of the front cover.)
  12. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I looked at their Web site and it appears this paper, in the largest city in a state with three of the major pro sports, college hoops out the wazoo and the heartland of NASCAR, has a whopping total of eight staff writers in sports.


    I have no idea what the desk staffing is like, so let's not be so quick to fault the staff.
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