An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Reason is in 12th graf:"Hundreds of volunteers have searched for the blond student."
This has been a rather large story the past few months. Why wouldn't USA Today run something on it? What exactly is your beef here, Jim?
10:48 Certainly looks like a lot mysteries to me, and somewhat confusingly written/edited. But I think largely of local interest. If I live and work in McLean, Va., why am i particularly intersted in hundreds of voluneers searching for a blonde in Indiana? Is it because she's a young blonde, or are we becoming a salacious crime tab?
Nancy Grace. We make obscure crimes national news.
CNN - home of "If it's a dead blonde girl, it's news every night". How long did they beat that drum on Holloway? (compare it to the coverage of the dead brunette Van Der Sloot left in the hotel) And now the Caylee trial is almost finished, so they're going to need a new one. How incurious a "reporter" can you be to run the same story over and over and over again? Not that anyone would confuse Grace with a reporter.
I'm so sick of Caylee I could scream. I gave up trying to follow what the hell the mother did, or didn't do, and yet I still see the woman's picture almost every day either on the TV or the internet. I can't watch Nancy Grace anymore, and honestly I've retreated to turning on BBC World Service on my computer, which is a signal of their international radio news show. I just turn on the BBC, minimize it on the task bar, turn off the sound on the TV, and i find it is wonderfully restful and interesting just to listen to stories that are told marvelously in an old-fashioned way while surfing. If you are fed up with Caylee, try it.
"If I live and work in McLean, Va., "It's USA Today. USA. Not McLean Today. USA. Indiana is in the USA. So is McLean.
Yes, but I'm not USA Today. I am a news professional who lives in McLean, Va. and I find it very fishy when people try to nationalize local news they are feeding me. As I said, I am fully aware of what is going on here, and I see I am not alone from the above.
Yeah. A good-looking coed presumably dies after a night of partying. It's the wrong but easy call.
I'm not USA Today. I am just one of those peons treated like sh**t who works there, and who resents efforts by Corporate to control my personal life.
Jim is like a dentist with these little insights. The dentist spots a cavity and he pulls out the drill to see how far the rot goes, and pretty soon you feel him getting near the nerve. Then you wake up and realize it's become all Boys of Brazil, and it's Dr. Mengele standing over you with a drill because you are stopping him from getting to his diamonds.
Yes, I know, Godwin's law.
"As I said, I am fully aware of what is going on here, ..."You haven't said anything of the sort. Make a point, or stop talking.Do you have an overriding problem with USA Today and just want to criticize to criticize? That's fine. It happens all the time.Do you not agree that this story of a missing student in Indiana (who is from New York) is not worthy of being in USA Today? Even though other national news outlets are carrying the story? Or, because you live in McLean, do you think of USA Today as your "local" news outlet? Or are you critical of USA Today using a story from another Gannett outlet, and not using one of its own staff to write the story?It's a national news story and it's carried by USA Today, a national news outlet. You can make the arguement that the media is getting carried too far with news items like this, and that's fine, but it's still a national news story because the national media treats it as such. For USA Today not to carry something on it would be silly.
In fairness, it was also one of the top news stories this morning on the Today Show, which is not owned by Gannett. Someone else made the judgment that it was national news, too.
"and I see I am not alone from the above..."The above comments are mostly about Caylee Anthony and the Casey Anthony trial, which is a completely different story than THIS topic, about a missing co-ed in Indiana, so another faulty arguement on your part.
It's obviously getting someone's goat, so if it is of no importance, why the fuss about it? I think there is a Caylee connection because this is a local crime story that TV sought to make national, and now it has come back to bite them in the ass because they can't get rid of it. The same with this one. That it got mentioned on the Today Show (which I don't watch because there is too much meaninglress fluff) just emphasizes the analogy to Caylee. As I said at the start, why the fuss if it is just a one-time news thing.
Also, the story is now updated (with a USA Today reporter's byline) to reflect the latest news, that the body found in Indianapolis is not that of the missing co-ed.
That's what used to be called log-rolling. House and Senate negotiators met today to put together the package that will extend the debt limit. Then they meet again Wednesday, and they meet again Thursday so there's another story. Then Friday, Saturday, Sunday and so on until there eventually is a package, and we are not told for several days afterwards what the details are in it. It's much more straightforward and important to tell readers the details of the package, rather than the process that got us there. The process is boring.
Jim has West Coast Bias.For good or bad, this missing student story has been national news for awhile now, and yes, the woman's from Westchester, so it all seems a natural fit.
It's been background noise, and there's really nothing wrong with a brief story because it's news. But blowing out of all proportion with a front-page story shows someone is trying to manipulate the news. Now there has to be a comparable story tomorrow, if you see what I mean, and it's only a murder involving a blonde living in Indiana. How many murders do we have in the United States a day, so why pick out this one, which may not be a murder. Or why pick out Caylee which may or not be a murder?
"so why pick out this one .."Because people are talking about it.There are more than a few legitimate criticisms for USA Today in particular and Gannett in general, but this isn't one of them. I'm not sure why Gannett Blog chose this one as one of their Passion Topics.
It may be my imagination, but lately it seems like there's been a heavy emphasis on crime, death and mayhem stories on top of the homepage.
1:15 Oh no, this is very much a criticism of USA Today and Gannett in general. It is exactly where we are heading with this passion topic idea. But you have to understand that like Caylee and this Indiana case, someone's passion is someone else's turnoff. Old fashioned news and newspapers used to be a collection of things some professionals felt were important for readers to know. Caylee isn't important, is it? It certainly isn't the Tennessee Scopes case.
Not guilty in the Caylee case today. Want to be Nancy Grace goes on about a miscarriage of justice? I might just watch to confirm my suspicion.
If it bleeds, it leads.
Does anyone know why the 12:21 troll has a Nazi fixation? Not the first time I've read him/her/them referring to Mengele.
3:44 Nope, first for me.
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See, I told you about Nancy Grace. Here's what Grace said after the verdict:"I absolutely cannot believe that Caylee’s death has gone unavenged. And there you see a group hug by the defendants. Tot Mom will be walking free. She’s headed back to jail. Sentencing for a few lesser counts, false information she released, will take place 9 a.m. sharp Thursday morning. And you gotta wonder what the state is thinking now. They gave it their all; they gave it 200 percent. They gave scientific evidence like none ever seen in the country before, behavioral evidence that knocked everybody off of their seat. But, in the end, Tot Mom’s lies seemed to have worked."Now I won't have to watch. I also bet the judge gives Anthony a slap on the wrist and no furher jail time for the lying to police convictions.
To reply to Jim's last comment, mayhem, crime, and murder sells more newspapers(and likely generates more website hits) than papers covered with ads and a feature story on shade like last Thursday's USA Today. Placing the photo of a riot on the front page outsells a photo of 2 kids selling lemonade by 15% or more on the single copy side. You can automatically knock 10% off the single copy sale if Obama is pictured anywhere above fold too.
Ms. Anthony may be innocent, but I am just as willing to suspect that she is the sociopath next door. A great book -- "The Sociopath Next Door." Should be required reading for all adults in my humble opinion. I could conclude by connecting the subject of the book with Gannett, but that would be unseemly and -- how does the expression go? -- a bit on the nose.
Crime, death, and mayhem. Aren't these the new passion topics?
7:11, this blog features some real nutcakes. Jim is one of them. I suspect you are, too.
I work for a newspaper that folded, and we went heavy into crime at the end. We had gone through the layoff and expense account control phase, and then came orders to plaster crime and murder across the front page so we did. Murders are an easy story to do. Most of the info is in the police report and detectives are often happy to talk because they get attaboys for their work. Victim families also are happy a reporter is interested when they call, so you get what looks like a very rich story, but it's just another murder or street shooting of no major interest. People even brought pictures to the paper to run with the stories, so there was really no effort needed in reporting. As I said, the paper folded.
Nancy Grace is a former prosecutor who tried murder cases, so she knows what this verdict said. That's not what she wrote about it, however.
Why would it even be questioned as to why it's on USA Today's home page. It is NATIONAL news because the body has yet to be found! She is young adult. She could be alive and anywhere. That is stupid to even question.
I stopped reading USA Today about 3-4 years ago. While I follow a couple other Gannett papers when in GCI towns (ones led by respected editors), the national rag went from a fairly decent read and visual innovator to a mundane, over-priced paper led by people more concerned about keeping their jobs than doing good journalism. From the stories that I hear from some very reliable insiders, upper newsroom management is a collection of snake-oil salesmen and never-have-beens.
Brittney at 4:09, I found the FBI stats, pasted below, on answerbag.com. I think the point of questioning the rationale behind running this story is that newspapers certainly don't run a story every time someone is missing. Don't you see that it's usually the slender, blonde, young females that get this sort of coverage? Remember the frenzy over Holly Bobo missing in Tennessee?The FBI National Crime Information Center reports that 719,558 went missing in the United States in 2009, which averages out to approximately 1,970 people a day. The number of missing persons reported is trending downward from the 10-year average, which comes to about 2,240 people a day. These figures do not account for unreported cases.
6:33 Exactly. I fear USAT is being pressed to run more content from other Gannett papers, even when it isnt the best available for a national audience.
Too many people here have been eating tainted crackers. No newspaper runs a story about every person afflicted with a disease, either. Stop with the conspiracy theories. Some of you need to break the habit of running in with every crackpot idea.
Jim, I think the issue is less conspiratorial than you suggest. With such a small staff of actual reporters, filling the paper each day has become a struggle. So questions of quality are put aside and the stories from other papers, when available in a timely way, are published. Also, it allows the managers to pat themselves on the back for doing such a good job coming up with no-cost or low-cost content, and to report to their supervisors that they are with the program and making Content One (or whatever it is called now) work. The alternative is to use wire copy.
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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