Friday, September 07, 2007

As a matter of fact, it is about me

The above-the-fold play given to the Slaby case and the posting of videos continues at the Enquirer. The web hits and newstand sales must be really good. I hope Callinan isn't going to claim again that the story "galvanized Ohio," as he did (wrongly) when he apologized for the Enquirer's behavior during the Marcus Fiesel coverage.

I've thought for a long time about canceling my subscription, and this week I've really thought hard about it. The only reason I continue to subscribe is that I want to support a local daily newspaper. Great cities have great newspapers, and if Cincinnati didn't have one at all, you might as well erase us from the map. So I pay my subscription, spend 90 seconds every morning reading what's worth reading in the Enquirer, throw it out and grumble about it. I know I'd be better off cancelling the Enquirer and subscribing to the Wall Street Journal or even USA Today.

Then I read this, a column in the National Journal about the demise of mainstream media, and the very question of whether we should continue to support newspapers as they twirl round the drain. The author calls that nonsense:
Nothing will kill the great newspapers more quickly than turning them into charity cases. And nobody should ever read a newspaper out of a dreary sense of civic obligation. Like great books, the best news shops have always drawn readers because they were feisty, well executed, and thrillingly alive to their own times. Their magnetism was rooted partly in the fact that they were optional, something you didn't technically need to get through the day, yet somehow couldn't live without.
So yes, this is about me, and whether I believe the Enquirer is serving my needs and the needs of my community. What cowards they are, the people who run the Enquirer. They're picking on a woman whose child has died, when they don't have the guts to take on a megalomaniacs like Si Leis or Joe Deters, or idiots like Jean Schmidt, and run them out of town. They won't take on Cintas and they won't take on Carl Lindner. We expect newspapers to keep powerful people honest and accountable, and yet the Enquirer chooses as its target a woman whose child has died. They're not going to rest until she's in jail or dead, or until they run out of videos to post and people stop clicking on their links.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please, PLEASE cancel your subscription. People like you and other blogs rant about how bad the Enquirer is, but it's abvious from your postings -- and those of so many other bloggers -- that you read it every day. The newspaper does need to improve -- greatly in some areas -- but hypocrites like you and the others is hilarious but completely needless.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 4:24,
Did Margaret approve your plea to cancel subscriptions?

Thanks for putting this to words. It is about me too but I didn't know how to express it.

4:41 PM  
Blogger The Dean of Cincinnati said...

Sometimes, when I try to read the enquirer online, it wants my gender, age, and ZIP code.

Needless to say, they never receive accurate information.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Cincinnati Enquirer Circulation Department said...

Dear Mr. McNair,

Concurrent with your termination as an employee of The Cincinnati Enquirer, your payroll deduction for a discounted subscription has been stopped. Therefore, it is not necessary to cancel your subscription.

However, if you wish to continue receiving the area's most in-depth news coverage, please call Customer Service at 651-4500 to arrange convenient home delivery. Please let us know whether you would prefer to pay by credit card or be billed monthly.


The Cincinnati Enquirer
Circulation Department

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sort of cute trick single-minded-online-personality @ 9:06.

Not funny or particularly persuasive.

As long as you got your jollies at someone's expense could your comments be over?

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Headline count of the night:

2 suicides with directions
2 murders with directions and directions for related suicide
1 dead baby

And, football.


9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Circulation has used so many deals and incentives to drive subscriptions that employees may do better by abandoning the special rate to subscribe like everyone else.

If you stop altogether, then you’ll be pleased to know that as an employee the Enquirer already counts one paid subscription for you anyway. If you remain a subscriber, then you’ll continue to be counted as two paid subscriptions. Nice math isn’t it?

Besides, why would you pay to subscribe when you can already “receive the area’s most in-depth news coverage” online, for free? A fair amount of content already comes out ahead of the print cycle anyway and you won’t have to toss out the sections you don’t want.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WCPO is conscious and actively publishes: "Slaby Case Could Change Ohio's Child Endangering Law".

That is something that IS happening for the present and future.

What does the enquirer do? Headline story about White defending his decision (already made and known) by the letter of the law (already made and known).

That is the past. The enquirer story is reactive and close to making the decision by White nothing more than an excuse.

The letter of the law is one thing. What is there a SPIRIT of the law? Would Brenda be better off if she did have to defend herself? Maybe she could get closure on her actions from that fateful day if she faced a grand jury, maybe? What should happen next as a result of this so it does not happen to another child? Car manufacturers have features to alert for this sort of thing - what are they? What cars are they on, which models and who sells them? Is there any advise on daily family routines that should be looked at that might help avoid this sort of tragedy? Should anyone else have noticed and alerted? Has history indicated anything?

There are lots of proactive things to cover. Does the enquirer need help to determine what the public would like to have reported in addition to having the public at large report it?

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the note of canceling of complainers subscriptions, already done! Rather happy for it! If only the delivery would really cease, everyday. Sometimes I still have to throw it away on trash day.

Just so you know, the hits received from me are mostly to check headlines to see if there is anything worthy of time. If there is, I read and sometimes follow. The enquirer gets as only as much of my time as I deem worthy. Often I go back to the enquirer to copy something to search other sites to get information. More often than not, I find more and better news for having searched. Of course that would be skewed in any hit count because of the amount of mislabeled stories, misplaced stories, stories that make little or no sense and link failures. Those things, along with my disgust with what the enquirer publishes, make me go back and forth a lot.

And, like Dean, I make up the demo stuff because it is annoying... and it isn't as if the enquirer cared anyway. What are my hits worth?

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought the Sunday paper for the first time in months. I spent maybe 15 minutes with it. The news portion deserved no more than 5 minutes and the rest of my time was in the sports section.
It used to anger me but now it's slipped to pure apathy.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Radarman said...

There are many reasons for the general dreadfulness of the Enquirer, but one of the most significant is one for which there is no remedy, the historic dreadfulness of the local press in general. Cincinnatians quite simply don't know what they're missing. The Post was never more than "better than the Enquirer." The Times-Star was a Taft mouthpiece with no real independence. There's another nearly insoluble problem: no commuter lines. The ruling classes drive themselves in to work here. In other cities they ride the train and read the paper, and the quality of the paper matters to them.
Gannett's formula has never called for the creation of a great newspaper, and it never will.
There is really no hope for us. None.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We cancelled our Enquirer subscription soon after the 2004 elections. Haven't really missed it in almost three years.

I remembered when the Enquirer did an awesome great investigative series on Chiquita in about 1998... AND THEN PRINTED A HUGE FRONT PAGE APOLOGY FOR ACTUALLY BEING JOURNALISTS!! We should have cancelled then.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other than lack of news and general information and hacking up a lung, there is no reason to get the Inky-Stinky. Not to subscribe to any media outlets that doesn't give the reader squat in Cincy either.

Newcomer to the area? I wish you the best. Good luck. There is no paper and TV, well, pretty much sucks too.

There you go tourism board....

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Chiquita, notice the story about banana suits getting out of jail time in the Enquirer today (9.12)? It is by Bloomberg wire service. Another local story not reported by an Enquirer staffer.

Last week, there was a Matt Maupin story on the front page reported by the LA Times. It was about the missions he was slated for being flagged as dangerous and missions that should be aborted. Guess, the Enquirer lost interest in Maupin when the story stopped getting web hits.

They should be mortified to publish important local-local stories reported by other news outlets at a time when they continually stress being local-local.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to stick up for the poor journalism at the Inky, but isn't there some sort of agreement made between the paper and Chiquita that they can't cover them locally. All of that stems from their lawsuit in the late 90s for an illegal break-in to Chiquita's phone system by a reporter. It's one of the biggest ethics cases taught in journalism school....can't believe these esteemed commenters haven't heard about the merit of it.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Esteemed 11:07:
Get with it. That was an old deal. If you had been reading the paper, you would have noticed that it - cliff peale - had been covering Chiquita. Not in depth but covering the company. Of course, he is not on the business staff anymore.

11:54 PM  

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