Thursday, May 10, 2007

Non-news on the front page

If you believe that a newspaper should put the most important news on the front page, and that the most important of the important news is placed above the fold, then there's no way to justify the Enquirer's decision to lead the paper with the story of how Jeff Ruby threw O.J. Simpson out of his restaurant, six days ago, in Louisville. It's an abominable news decision, probably driven by the story's web traffic. The Enquirer, for some reason, regularly deifies Ruby, probably because he's easy to get to and he'll say absolutely anything that pops into his head.

Slightly worse is the center of the front page, devoted to the Ohio smoking ban. The Enquirer tells you right up front it's not a story -- the deck reads, "few complaints, no violators identified." If it's not news, why is it on the front page? The news well in this town can't be that dry. The Enquirer is just to lazy and incompetent to find news.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Phantom Girl said...

News Ache pointed out that I left out a candidate for the publisher in my previous posting on the Enquirer follies. News Ache suggested Meryl Streep ("The Devil Wears Prada).

Well done.

One other thought:

Margaret Hamilton. Nothing more to say, except swap a Swiffer for the broom.

For full context, previos posting follows.

After watching this for so long I think it's time to put the Enquirer situation in a tongue-in-cheek perspective.

So, without further delay, here are some general impressions of how the high drama in the Enquirer newsroom might play itself out. Perhaps better described as a Greek tragedy.

No names, of course, since many of those in this charade are under duress, except for suggestions of real and fictional people who might be well cast as star players.

Working title: Deadline USA (borrowed from the Humphrey Bogart film of the same name, coincidentally about a newspaper about to be put out of business).

Written, produced and directed by the boys and girls in Reston, VA.

The Players

In the role of the editor, either Snidely Whiplash or Michael Meyers (“the blackesst eyes, the devil's eyes" Donald Pleasence in Halloween.).

Managing editor: Curley Howard (“I keep trying to think, but nothing happens”).

Metro editor: Pearl Pureheart (Mighty Mouse's friend who always seemed to be in crisis, mostly through no fault of her own).

Editorial page editor: John Banner (Sgt. Schultz from Hogan's Heroes “I see nothing, I know nothing.”)

Sports editor: Bob Uecker (“Personally, I think we got hosed on that one.”)

Business editor: Gordon Gecko (Wall Street, “Greed is good,” for Gannett) or Rocky Balboa (“Cut me Mick,” in reference to the disappearing section and staff).

Features editor: Groucho Marx (“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I don't know." From Animal Crackers).

Copy editors: Bela Lugosi (“Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” From Dracula.)

The corporate bean counters milking the paper but running it into the ground: James Cagney (“My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. And I thank you.” From Yankee Doodle Dandy) or Edward G. Robinson (“Is this the end of Rico?” from Little Caesar).

And finally, the director, whose instructions to those in the newsroom who care deeply about what is happening tell the story best: Clark Gable (“Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.” From Gone with the Wind).

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The news on the website is generally stale too. It is understandable that the paper is stale due to the print cycle but the web isn't confined in that way. Obvious is a lack of eyes reading it before posting. So what is the excuse?

Reading the Enquirer, in any form, is akin to deja vue--the feeling you get when you've already heard elsewhere where the spelling is better.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And combine the casts of "One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and the "Wizard of Oz" munchkin gallery for the supporting roles.

Nurse Ratchet could make a run as Publisher.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Newsache said...

The casting of Curly is brilliant.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's obvious you and at least some of your regular posters work at the Enquirer. Why not channel your brilliance into improving the product instead of anonymously undercutting your colleagues? Your insight does not compensate for your cowardliness.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like one of the VPs (above) spoke up, anonymously, to show thier "courage".

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sharing one's brilliance isn't rewarded, nor more importantly very welcome, especially when it conflicts with what the publisher wants to hear.

And, those who have demonstrated courage often pay a price.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this was coming from the inside of the Enquirer, on company hours, wouldn't cha think the digital fingerprint could tell?

Maybe it isn't from inside, or maybe the right questions aren't being asked or looked at, from the inside.

Oh, a complete lack of information is exactly what's going on, and on, and on.

Too bad all the laundry is hanging out.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a newspaper should put the big stories on the front and and the big one above the fold. I think that credible websites promote as well. That is helpful.

I am a newcomer (two years). Hers, WCPO is the best and does OK. Other than that, it is nytimes.com, cnn.com and newsleader.com. The Enquirer is a waste of effort and time.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what the Cinci edition looked like, but in the KY edition, the week before the Derby there was a "story" on the front page of a the late Anna Nicole's infant child possibly coming to Louisville. Now that is news!

11:16 PM  

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