Saturday, March 03, 2007

Taking the low road

Somehow the news that six people died is less important than the fact that local people lived. The Enquirer's coverage of the deaths of six people in a bus crash in Georgia reflects terribly an unspoken newspaper adage, that local lives are worth a whole lot more than the lives of people elsewhere. "Bluffton bus crash scares local families"? Why does the Enquirer think it's headline news if families are scared? There are scared families all over Cincinnati. Just go to Children's Hospital any day of the week, or drive through Avondale. The news that six people died is only given below the fold, in small type in the deck, where the Enquirer also finds it necessary to tell us that two other local people didn't make the trip. The story doesn't say six people died until the 11th paragraph. The Enquirer doesn't even tell us on the front page where in Ohio Bluffton University is in relation to Cincinnati. Usually newspapers provide a locater map, but the Enquirer's art staff is so thin they probably didn't have anyone to do it on Friday.

Other newspapers managed to play the news of six deaths more prominently. Note how the Ohio papers used more graphics than the Enquirer:
The Enquirer's approach is parochialism at its worst. What is a reader supposed to think? "It's a shame about those six people, but I sure am glad nobody local was killed." The Enquirer dishonors the families of the dead by taking this angle, and simultaneously plays its readers for fools.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are on to something. The blogs in Cincy should start linking to the page fronts of the other big city Ohio newspapers. That will demonstrate the poor product that Cincinnatians have to endure. Keep after the yahoos running the Enquirer, the worst newspaper in the world.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story was confusing to say the least. To understand it, I needed to go to another website. It was the single sentence in the 11th paragraph that addressed the magnitude of the tragedy. It might have been good as a second story but the Enquirer story needed to be framed with "what happened". A bus crash is one thing. A bus crash with fatalities is another.

The Enquirer made me do more to find out. Seems backwards.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that anyone really thinks much of the Enquirer but when it is put next to any others, it obvious it is a stinky, smelly, rotten egg.

Newsache, your story timely and right on the money.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous TomK said...

Wow, what a powerful juxtaposition. The Enquirer looks so provincial compared to those other four newspapers. Thank you for making this available.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Luray said...

If Bluffton were in Kentucky, you can bet the Enquirer would have treated it as local news, even if it were as far from Cincinnati as it could possibly be.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. You stated with eloquence what I wished I could have. Great blog. I'll check back!

8:24 PM  

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