An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Not surprising. Children have been entrusted to run USAT's website. They're nice kids, mostly, but they're not experienced editors. The clique in charge of the "distribution team" either is unaware that most of them lack basic journalistic skills, or doesn't care.
All the kids in charge of distribution and social are partying in Austin at SXSW. Probably networking new jobs. On Gannett money. USAToday reporting has actually been doing a very good editorial job on the Japan earthquake.
Don't you know? It's all about us!
Sad. 10:05 and other comments are spot on.
Even worse then this, the Reno Gazette-Journal doesn't even have a Japan quake of any sort in a prominent spot on its landing page. There's an old photo gallery or you can scroll way down to the national news, but it doesn't have a prominent spot. Sad because a serious meltdown could mean some sort of radiation wash for the U.S. Or ... maybe it wouldn't. RGJ readers have no way of knowing. At least they know, however, that the paper that isn't giving them information is "a Gannett company." As demanded, that gem of information is clearly detailed right below the Web site mast.
P.S. -- Sorry about the misspelling. "Even worse than this ..."
12:01 is another example of someone who should take a long break from writing here. The tag about "a Gannett company" has nothing to do with quake coverage.
1:02 -- Sure it does. The point is many Gannett products are lame and now that they are clearly labeled as such, customers can carry that reputation from place to place. For instance, if you hate the McDonalds in Miami, you probably aren't going to eat at one in Detroit. Likewise, if you despise the Gannett paper in Ft. Myers you aren't going to line up to read the Free Press. Of course, the branding campaign is more about advertisers, but it translates there as well. If an advertising firm doesn't like the way the Gannett papers it knows a lot about are connecting with its audience, it won't have faith that others in the chain are. In other words, branding can hurt you if you go out of your way to create a negative brand.
Consistent mediocrity. It's all within reach.
Could it be, that one the big scale of things, the power plants are minor?So far, depending on which news site you read, the power plants are going to blow any moment, the power plants are safe/no danger, the power plants might explode, the power plant will wipe out all life on earth... Take your pick.
10:40 -- They may or may not end up being a big deal but they are the one thing about the tragic quake that stands to have the largest impact on most U.S. readers. While everyone here is saddened by the loss of life in Japan, I expect most Americans will be even more concerned if they suddenly learn that a wash of radiation is headed our way. If you're going to cover the story for a U.S. audience doesn't that seem like a pretty strong angle?The diverging reports only go to show how terrible the mainstream U.S. media -- all of it, not just Gannett -- has become.
Since when does news judgement come into play in Gannett? Surprised the quake wasn't parlayed into a marketing opportunity.
USA TODAY went from being a joke to respectability and back again in what seems to be record speed for a news product. Yes, there is a lack of journalistic experience in some key spots. Worse, there are lack of leaders capable of recognizing that the weak links exist and are seemingly expanding by the month with each new hire or reassignment.While I don't want to blanket every new employee as being short on skills, there are some overwhelmingly bad personal decisions being made by the new regime, and to be fair, by some of the old newsroom leaders who have managed to hang on for all the wrong reasons.While not a journalist myself, I am on the inside at USAT and can see how far this brand has fallen as the result of de-emphasizing things like seasoned editing, credible reporting and inspired newsroom management. The market will ultimately punish USAT for getting sloppy, and that directly impacts my job. However, like many people in my position, we dare not speak our minds. It's been made clear that our opinions don't matter and could lead to our being dismissed, just as so many others were let go for trying to maintain some quality both online and in print.Sad, sad state of affairs at USAT over the last three years. No end in sight, as people are just now generally trying to hold onto their jobs by nodding their heads yes to every lame idea that comes across a white board.
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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