Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Blast From the Past

The main post is coming up later, but thought I'd give you this to chew on this morning from unofficial Pulp correspondent Wyatt Olson:

Your Gregg Fields postings reminded of something I wrote back in September 2002. Well, "wrote" is too strong a word. We reprinted some of the postings from the Herald's internal message board about the arrival of Mario Garcia to make over the paper's design. Fields' reaction was a beautiful thing, and you can almost hear him banging on the doors of academia. Here's his post:

"The Herald has hired consultants numerous times since I've been here, ostensibly to 'brainstorm' about ways to 'improve' the newsroom. In each and every instance, it has resulted in cuts to staffing, salaries, and news hole. If these outside instant experts on journalism want to see what we'd do with fewer resources just recount to them the joys of that wonderful downsizing/buyout that occurred last year. Mention to them that we've experimented with salary freezes, hiring freezes and shoving good people out the door, and it turns out those approaches do nothing for quality.

Just a suggestion: Maybe when we play this camouflage game, someone could say: 'It's impossible to envision fulfilling our journalistic mission with even one less dollar or one less person than we now have.' Sorry if it sounds cynical, but I've been to this parade before, and the emperor still isn't wearing any clothes. Happy brainstorming."

Also, somebody asks below in a comment that we "compare and contrast" this story in the Sentinel (by Ian Katz) and this story by John T. Fakler in the Daily Business Journal. I see that both stories deal with these dubious television production companies in Boca Raton and a shady deal with Michael Douglas (showering at right). But the compare and contrast thing sounds too much like an essay question to me, so I ask the poster: Go ahead and tells us your point.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about the "Compare, Contrast" bit and lack of clarity on my point. I was up late studying and the cafe con leche hadn't kicked in yet.
My comment referred back to your Credit is due post. The (weekly) South Florida Business Journal had the tip of this in December. The SS got it today, maybe from "a short news release distributed Monday night." Not sure. But I think John T. Fakkler should get credit for breaking it, no?

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can take the "credit is due" philosophy to an absurd extreme, and I think you've done it. The Sun-Sentinel story was about a specific event (the filing of a lawsuit) that took place on Monday, and the SS reporter did not need to rely at all on the earlier Business Journal story to write about the complaint. The Sentinel reporter, Ian Katz, also gives credit to the New York Times for its stories in 2003 that caused Walter Cronkite to resign from a similar business deal.

In contrast, the Business Journal story from December doesn't seem to have caused any action to occur. It's also fairly cryptic, even after reading the Sentinel's lawsuit story; it's a long piece in dire need of a "why should we give a shit" paragraph. Even assuming Katz had ever seen the Business Journal article, there's no reason to assume he would have remembered it.

As previous commenters have said, news organizations should (but often don't) give credit to competitors when they rely on their reporting, or when the competitors themselves have contributed to events (I believe almost everybody mentioned Miami New Times in writing about Al Teele and Jim DeFede). On the other hand, they're under no obligation to credit everybody else who has previously reported that the sun is shining or the sky is blue.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think to point is that the mike douglas squabble was first reported by the biz journal w/o the benefit of a legal suit or news release to tie it to

10:01 AM  
Blogger IK said...

To the anonymous poster(s): This isn't that complicated. My story in the Sun-Sentinel was on the lawsuit. The suit was filed late Monday afternoon and I got a copy of it a couple of hours later. I jammed out the story for the next day's print edition. I didn't see anything on the Internet or the wires about the suit until after the story was done, when I saw that a short AP story had just been filed.

The Business Journal does excellent work, but that's an entirely different topic.

Ian Katz
Business Writer
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

5:45 PM  
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