Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mail | About USAT's new look, 'the enormity of this remake is worthy of far more from you, and this blog, than catty and mean-spirited castigations'

In a thoughtful and persuasive comment last night in this thread, Anonymous@10:02 says many USA Today staffers have been working tirelessly for months on the print redesign, the new website, the new advertising efforts, and many other new initiatives. The comment continues:

They deserve a far deeper analysis and reaction from you than, "I wonder how much it will cost to change the logo on the building?"

This blog is notably discordant with the true reaction to the redesigns, which although negative in spots has been largely positive, especially to the web redesign.

It seems you are petulantly casting about to find ah-hahs! at the fringes of things rather than reacting to the project in its totality.

Saying, "but what about the content?" is a cop-out, since you never seem to actually assess the content, which is not as terrible as your sneers seem to indicate. No, USA Today cannot always compete on the international level, and our staffing levels are not what we'd like.

'Gathering ammo'
But what actually runs in the paper or online is actually quite competitive.

You may disagree. But we don't actually know what you think because instead you are gathering ammo for the "mean girl" contingent of angry or former Gannett employees.

The enormity of this remake is worthy of far more from you, and this blog, than the catty and mean-spirited castigations against a staff (colleagues and former colleagues), who have been working like crazy to make this right and get USA Today back on track.

They deserve better.

And your legacy as a "voice" of journalistic criticism deserves better than this crazy mud-slinging you've been doing for a week now.

USAT 'is moving on'
Besides the blue ball memo "scoop," you have had virtually nothing to add to the media-wide discussion; others do not seem to be seeking your opinion; you are not being quoted anywhere.

The head of a critical Gannett Blog would think to be a go-to source for other media. Instead, you are sideshow.

USA Today is moving on into the future. Be nice if this blog could grow up and mature, too.

As always, other views are encouraged. 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. I think this is an entirely fair critique, and I'm delighted to highlight it in this separate post.

    To be clear, I'm still reading the beta version of USAT's new site before I write anything substantial of my own. I think it would be unfair to post that sort of review based solely on the first 24 hours' performance.

    In the meantime, I'm gathering links to other reviews that have already been published for a post I hope to publish later today.

    You can help. Please post any links to reviews you find in this thread. Or send them to me via

  2. Who is the troll that wrote this non-sense. GCI is wasting millions again, on what they call a dieing product. The yes men/women will still be paid top dollar, while the rest of us continue to see pay cuts and furloughs, As I stated many time prior on this blog..My resumes are in the mail and I can not wait to leave. This company is a JOKE run by peps who have no clue
    Happy Pressman is back, but not for long
    Thanks Jim for the blog

  3. 10:16 - You're absolutely right. USA Today cannot be taken seriously with the shit they put out there. I see nothing mature about the new paper and all I've heard about is the small hard to read print and the unimaginative new logo. I do feel bad for the employees who have worked hard on this redesign because their efforts were upstaged by Banikarim's and Martore's bad judgment.

  4. A journalism professor writing in E&P predicts USAT's demise.

  5. That journalism profesor also predicted five years ago that Murdoch would buy USA Today.

    The posting Jim has reprinted is exceedingly wise. Staffers have worked very hard, they are not the bad guys and it is nice to see that at least someone had pointed that out.

  6. "That journalism professor also predicted five years ago that Murdoch would buy USA Today."

    Touche. A hit! A palpable hit.

  7. Journalism professor.

    Sounds like a punch line.

  8. This is one small, practice criticism based on my perusal of the beta site: the white hedes on the lede story photos are bleeding into the lighter parts of the photos. An easy fix, but someone needs to make that change.

  9. The redesign apologist should look up the meaning of ENORMITY:

    "1 great wickedness [the enormity of a crime] 2 a monstrous or outrageous act; very wicked crime 3 enormous size or extent; vastness: in modern use, considered a loose usage by some."

  10. this is a turd polishing, nothing more, nothing less.

    how can a desperation move from such an insignificant organization be considered "worthy" of anything more than ridicule?


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.