Thursday, May 24, 2007

Out with a whimper

FIRST: The Purple People Bridge Climb was a lame idea from the start, lamer still because it cost you up to $80 for the pleasure. But the Enquirer thought it was a great idea, and put the bridge climb on Page 1 six times (November 10 and 14, 2005, in 2006, April 6, May 3, May 25 and June 13), plus an editorial, plus a 1,900-word hummer for Dennis Speigel, the genius behind the idea.

On Wednesday, Speigel announced the climb would be shut down. The Enquirer's play of the story is puzzling -- on the front page in Kentucky, but deep in the paper in Ohio, at the bottom of page A13, the third page of the Business section. I don't believe it was ever an above-the-fold front page story from the start, but why does the Enquirer seem to consider this a Kentucky story and not an Ohio story? The Enquirer doesn't seem to understand that the interest in a story is based on the reader, and not the writer. It appears the Enquirer treated this as a Kentucky story because it was written by a reporter from the Northern Kentucky bureau, Mike Rutledge. Does that mean they also think only Kentucky readers would be interested? Maybe they just didn't want to embarrass Ohio resident Speigel on this side of the river.

SECOND: Chris Henry's drug test in Kentucky was apparently negative. Was the Enquirer ever justified in putting this story on the front page? You would think good judgment is called for when we're talking about accusing somebody of using drugs. However, it's another case of the Enquirer passing on good news judgment, passing on doing the right thing, in favor of using web traffic to determine what goes on the front page. Is anyone in the Northern Kentucky bureau thinking about looking into how many other people on probation are getting such poor drug tests? A story like that would resemble watchdog journalism, which we know the Enquirer doesn't like to do. Will the editorial page take on prosecutors in Kentucky who let out inconclusive drug test results? No, they're too busy washing John Boehner's mouth out with soap.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect the story landed on A1 in Kentucky because they had nothing else worthy of the front page there. Inky editors are frantic to pick up readers in NKy because when the post closes down, it means 50,000 fewer households that their advertisiers will reach (advertisting is shared between the papers because of the JOA). That, in turn, means much lower ad rates. Therefore, the KY reporters are given story quotas and more, in a frantic attempt to win over NKy readers. I bet they had nothing for the front and the bridge climb was something they could plug in.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironic that the Inky is so concerned about Bohner's naughty word when they have anal sex threads happening under its CincyMoms banner.

The standards Enquirer editors apply to others and their own reporters don't apply to themselves.

1:48 PM  

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