Sunday, May 13, 2007

Don't bother

Did you waste $1.50 on the Sunday Enquirer today? I did, and I'm hoping you read this before you waste your money and your time.

The bulk of the front page is taken up by a CincyMoms ad. Why do I want to pay $1.50 to be told about some lame web site? It's shameful the Enquirer can't find better news to report on the front page of its biggest newspaper of the week.

The Sharonville plane crash follow-up story was written by a features writer, a business writer, and the medical writer. Many news editors believe in the theory that any decent reporter should be able to cover any story that comes up. It's a nice theory, and Bishop, Newberry and O'Farrell are all competent reporters. In the long run, however, having a newsroom -- oh, forgive me -- having a local information center full of generalists leads to poor beat coverage and a lack of the kind of nuanced coverage that leads to good watchdog journalism and great storytelling. You can tell by today's front page this is already afflicting the Enquirer.

A headline above the letters in the Community Forum section says "Ruby-Simpson tiff seems like a publicity stunt". I don't think Jeff Ruby threw OJ out of his Louisville restaurant for as a stunt, but the Enquirer took care of the publicity, putting this non-story on the front page twice in the past few days. Today's deification of a guy who runs a bunch of steak restaurants isn't a bad story, but doesn't deserve the front page.

What did other newspapers do today? The Lexington Herald-Leader's mother's day story is about a mom who lost her son in the war. The Toledo Blade investigates Rep. Paul Gillmor's new $1 million home. Somehow the words "Enquirer" and "investigate" don't seem to go together well or often in the same sentence. The Cleveland Plain Dealer examines the state of the troubled Davis-Besse nuclear power plant. The Washington Post leads with a story about a deadly ambush in Iraq, a story the Enquirer buried on page 15. It also has a story on how GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani got rich after 9/11. The New York Times today tells how civilian deaths are hurting the war against the Taliban.

Being a lousy newspaper isn't an accident. The Enquirer is terrible by choice. As its print product sinks, the Enquirer is trying to become a successful web site, but how can you be successful on the web with such awful decisions about how to deploy your reporters?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too late. Guess this is what people can expect, especially when you're the only game in town.

And, this week's number one read about Procter entering the pharmaceutical business is a bit "misleading as there's no breaking info. Makes me wonder if Peale's even been to Mason lately, especially given his welfare plea regarding Kings Island move to hire more locals versus from downtown Cincinnati. Surely, someone can give him a lift up there.

Sorry to see that I wasted both my time and money.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see someone else noticed what a huge waste of time and space the cincymoms package is.

from near the top of the 'special page' inside devoted to 'greatest hits' drivel (some of which has been around for weeks on the website) from cincymoms:

'Yes, Mommy does like to poopy.'

Scintillating journalism. Happy Mother's Day.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As soon as I saw the CincyMoms sign planted front and center, I just knew it would provide Newsache an opportunity to take another long, salty piss all over the Enquirer. This is bad. Miami University must feel really, really good about not hiring Tom Callinan as its J-school dean a few years back.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But if Callinan had been hired by Miami, he wouldn't have stuck around the Enquirer to be named Gannett's 2006 Editor of the Year (second runner-up) and receive yet another President's Ring! If that's not validation, I don't know what is.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A president's what?? Are they running a jewelry operation now to make up for all the lost revenues?

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hasn't anyone figured out that the only people who matter to The Enquirer are West Chester soccer moms?

Apparently people who read the newspaper for actual news are "passe."

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Enquirer may be writing to them, but they have a far better newspaper to read of direct interest to them, one that Gannett doesn’t own, the Pulse-Journal. And, it's free.

Besides, even the Sunday preprints appear to be dying...

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonder how many of those 47,000 "stories" were generaged by the paid "conversation starters" on cincymoms that the Enquirer doesn't tell you they are paying.

9:41 AM  
Blogger 5chw4r7z said...

I couldn't believe that was the front page story! I mean there are three soldiers in Iraq missing, I hate Iraq news stories but there must have been something out there. And how about the sports page? A story about a mother supporting her husband? Isn't there a female sports figure who is a mother they could have wrote about. The paper sucked when I moved here and it’s going downhill fast.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, the Enquirer really made up for their lack of substance with today's paper. Their bold editorial taking a hard stance against sexual abuse was truly a profile in courage. They really put the pro-sexual-abuse folks in their place.

(Full disclosure: Yep, that was sarcasm.)

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here here! Sickening! First thing I noticed... so sad.

2:50 AM  

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