Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oshkosh | This is your under-staffed newspaper

What happened when blogger Cheryl Hentz says she tried reaching the Oshkosh Northwestern newsroom for more news about a train accident on Saturday.

"The city editor’s message said to press ZERO for immediate assistance," she wrote in a post today. "When I did that, it said I was being transferred to the operator, but then almost immediately told me this was an invalid selection. A few moments later it gave me a recording saying the office was closed but if I needed the newsroom I should select that option. In doing so it then said I was being transferred to the News & Information Center, but that extension just rang and rang. Not even a voice mail picked up. How discouraging!"

I've experienced this at other Gannett papers. Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. "Osh Kosh"? Oy.

  2. B'gosh, good catch. I've now fixed the head to make Oshkosh one word.

  3. That woman's account of her attempt to get any news from her newspaper is pretty damning. How embarrassing for the Northwestern and Gannett in general.

  4. Wow, Stop the presses. I do think the paper should have had something about the incident on its Web site or in print, but I do NOT expect them to have someone manning the phones on weekends to answer inquiries about what's happening. Newsroom clerks for the weekends were among the first cuts made ... wayyyy back. If the blogger was really interested in finding out what was going on, she should have called the Police Department! This is just another example of some hack acting like they can do the job of a journalist but they don't feel they should have to do the work of a journalist. In fact, Ms. Hentz seems more intent on whining about the newspaper's phone system than finding out what actually happened in her own community. So much for her "Eye on Oshkosh." This is just another example of someone trying to aggregate (and cheapen) our work and getting pissed off because we don't have the staff to help do that. Boo. Hoo.

    1. I think you miss an important point, 11:37. If no one's answering the phones, the paper will miss out on news tips -- like the one Hentz might have been providing.


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."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.