Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The front page could have been better today

Lousy front page of the Enquirer today, with not much good news judgment. Does the online predators story really deserve the top of the front page? The story fails to give the name of the bill. It's the KIDS (Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators) Act of 2007, according to Rep. Gillmor's web site. I guess that should be the KIDSP Act. Hundreds of bills are introduced during each session of Congress, and few become law. Why did the Enquirer get excited about this one? And, according to Gillmor's web site, his sponsorship may stem from an investigation by WBNS-TV in Columbus that "found more than 50 registered sex offenders from central Ohio on MySpace." As of Wednesday afternoon, this bill still wasn't in the Thomas database. (And what's so bad about being a sex offender anyway?)

And do poll results deserve the most prominent spot on the front page? Since both of these stories came right off the news, it was clear the Enquirer didn't have any enterprise stories for the day. Better stories might have been this one on Sen. Specter challenging President Bush on Iraq, or anything on the Scooter Libby trial. And the Enquirer underplayed the shenanigans at Omnicare.

The Enquirer misfired by putting the launch of Vista on the front page on Tuesday. Big deal -- Best Buy set up tents. Very very few people buy new versions of operating systems to upgrade an existing computer. They get the new operating system when they buy a new computer. This escaped the jerks who decide what goes on the Enquirer's front page. Did any of them camp out for the new Vista? This Associated Press story said first-day sales of Vista weren't much, and this blog agrees, all of which confirms how the Enquirer's news judgment misfired. So, why was this story on the front page?

Also, the Enquirer seems to use freelancers more often, because they're cheaper than full-time reporters. The Enquirer calls them "contributors," and their contributions are usually fluff. Think about that and read this.


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