Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Soviet jewelry: How to get comments rejected

The good news about increased traffic here is also the -- well, let's call it the challenging news: You guys are now leaving more comments than ever. And until now, I've been publishing pretty much all of them -- including quite a few that were on the edge. But with the increased volume, I'm gonna start getting more picky. That means your comments are more likely to get spiked if they are:
  • Libelous. Don't accuse your publisher of, say, embezzlement -- unless you send me a photo showing her stuffing cash marked "property of Gracia Martore'' into her pantyhose.
  • Threatening. It's not nice to fool Mother Nature -- and it's even less nice to suggest you and another reader duke it out in a New Jersey bar. (Yes: that means you!)
  • Irrelevant I'm so, so sorry you don't like working for Journal Register Co. But if you take a peek at the name of this blog, you'll notice that it's about a company called Gannett.
  • Spammy. Gannett's efforts to take over college newspapers and grind them into dust, too, are pretty gross. But copying and pasting diatribes about that and other stuff is even grosser. (Is that a word? For that matter, is spammy a word?)
Some of you may now point to already-published comments that seem to fall into these categories. That's cool: I'll try to review and delete them, where appropriate. Mostly, though, I'm offering these tips to save you (and me) wasted time in the future.

Got a crazy comment that made it past your site's filters? From a non-work computer, use this link to e-mail Commentz Korner. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the sidebar, upper right. Or leave a note in the comments section, below.

[Photo: the mistress of irrelevant comments, Emily Litella of Saturday Night Live, played so wonderfully by the late Gilda Radner]


  1. Jim,
    You're making this more about yourself than letting the discussion take place in an open attmosphere.

    An open forum, with appropairate mechanisms for reporting offending posts, should be the direction this blog takes and what the internet is all about.

    Your acting as a gatekeeper doesn't paint a true picture of what's on your readers' minds. You should allow instant posting of comments and reserve the right to remove any post that really is offensive. Besides, right now, your access to the internet is standing in the way of the free flow of information that has been such a delicious meal over the past several weeks.

    I'd reconsider your stance on this subject. Otherwise, I'm afraid your blog will become a less-than-attractive destination for "all things Gannett." Ideas should appear instantaneously whenever possible and without a filter of what you think is appropriate ... my two pennies ...

  2. I'm going to side with Jim - I don't care what Lee or Journal Register or Scripps or Belo are doing, aside from whether the big G is going to follow their lead. I also don't need to read unsubstan. rumors or pissing contests - or people ripping on Jim personally.

    We're in the gatekeeper business - we decide what is worthwhile every day for the public to hear/see/read. Otherwise we'd all print 64 page main editions and two hour long newscasts every day.

    Filtering out the chaff is what makes any aggregator more valuable.

  3. bullshit. jim has an axe to grind. if he looked at other comparable companies like scripps, journal register, trib, media general, etc then he will realize it is not an executive problem, it is an industry issue. Unless we all have bad CEO's running all these companies, I have to imagine the economy is killing this industry.

    jim, you would do yourself well by diversifying your blog a bit. it is truly getting boring and you don't have anything else to write about.

    you did a good job exposing cherry hill (the idiots in jersey), so congrats on that, but outside of the "jersey" folks, there is nothing interesting on this blog.

  4. For those of us who are too young or too bound by sweatshop hours to understand the Soviet jewelry reference, would you care to explain it?

  5. @4:34 p.m.: Oooph. Way to make me feel ancient! Easiest explanation: Please follow the Emily Litella link at the bottom of the post.

  6. one ringy-dingy ...

  7. Contrary to what 2:27 A.M. has shared, and what too many others would like to believe, Gannett's problems ultimately reside with its leadership, and its management ranks, period.

    Yes, the dynamics have changed. And yes, “economic headwinds” are issues, but there’s a rich and damaging history of far too many anointing themselves as Kings and Queens instead of putting the business’s needs, and its employees, first.

    Need a few names? Hell, they’ve been mentioned here and elsewhere far too many times to ignore what they’ve done to this company; nor the culture of fear, distrust, and overall, general ambivalence that has been created. How many opportunities were missed and/or bad decisions made because they wouldn’t listen, let alone even easily accessible to many of their own managers to do so? Their efforts and those of too many like them are responsible for what’s really wrong with this company - especially for the lack of trust, openness, risk-taking, and entrepreneurial spirit that this company so desperately needs. And, let’s not forget the consulting “advice” and personalities of more than a few of corporate’s frequent-flyers.

    Yet, some suggest that all of this should be overlooked and ignored because it’s industry and economy are really at fault. Not!

    Unless people truly have their heads “elsewhere”, they really don’t have to look very far to see and understand the problem - including that many of the coronations that occurred continue today. And, if some still don’t buy it, then buy a book or two on organizations who’ve “transformed” or grown to greatness and apply it to what far too many of us already know about Gannett - that it really is about management. And, it’s well past the time for more of them to go, else more of the same will continue.

  8. After twenty-five years in the business, now over, it remains mostly an inward looking business.
    The very essence of reporting, openness, honesty, getting to the real grit is what Gannett detests relative to itself.

    They do not thrive on dissenting opinions...constructive criticism.
    There were those executives who literally shaked in Rosyln at the thought of upsetting Watson.

    Money bought talent and newspapers had always looked to the cheapest supply of labor.

    So slow to reform, it was always competitive between the new guard verse the old guard.

    Rarely can you get several family members to agree to a problem. Try getting reform across to eighty plus properties. The true reformers are in the miniority.

  9. The brand. What's the brand? What's the reputation in the community? Gannett and the industry develop widgets and then never tell the world.

    Cheap, cheap, and more cheap. No marketing genius, no marketing pressure, no marketing connections.

    Never on local cable, never on local TV, no billboards, no external pressure.

    Aside from the Kentucky Derby, and the Indy 500, how many other opportunities are being missed? And have been for the last twenty years.

    Cheap gets you more cheap. Get a set of gonads.

  10. RE: The suggestion of duking it out" at a NJ bar seemed more to me an invitation to a verbal slugfest, not as a threat of physical violence. So I, as bystander, saw it as a colorfully painted way of getting NJ bloggers together for a debate. Did I miss something?

    RE: Libelous comments - sure, you're above clarification makes sense, but what's that got to do with dropping names when griping about management on the local levels? It's not libelous...all that's been said is true. I guess said managers got to crying a bit (just like a woman) when they didn't like what was being said about them on the playground.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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