Media Mutt Blog Archive 2011
Why would somebody in Honduras care if a person in Maine didn’t receive the morning newspaper?
Because they’re getting paid to care, of course.
Last week, the MaineToday Media newspapers began including a new kind of hyperlink in stories posted on its Web sites. Unlike the usual links that took readers to earlier stories on the same subject, transcripts of speeches, background information or important documents, these links, imbedded in a seemingly random assortment of words, connected to pop-up advertising.
There was plenty wrong with that idea.
Dowe getting done: The Maine Public Broadcasting Network is looking for a new president. That person, who’ll be paid a salary of between $150,000 and $175,000 per year, will replace James Dowe, who’s retiring. Dowe, a former banker, was hired in 2006.
More sponsors than a NASCAR driver: George Smith – a contributor to this Web site, as well as a columnist for the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal – runs an informative Web site of his own, where he provides his perspective on issues affecting hunting, fishing, and natural resources. It’s that last gig that’s causing ethical concerns.
Unplayed message: The phone-hacking scandal that’s done major damage to Rupert Murdoch’s British media empire probably wouldn’t happen in Maine. That’s because if any of this state’s journalists ever mustered up the ambition to probe into the cell-phone messages of public officials, all they’d have to do is file a Freedom of Information request.
Hooked on press releases: The news that Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Norman Olsen had resigned broke on July 20 in the form of a bland news release from the office of Gov. Paul LePage. The state’s press corps initially treated the matter as curious – Olsen had only been in office six months – but not remarkable.
Too much blue pencil – and not enough: On July 13, the Portland Press Herald ran an op-ed column by Tim Russell supporting the position of the Christian Civic League of Maine in opposing an anti-bullying bill that had been defeated in the Legislature. The Press Herald editors identified Russell only as “a resident of Sydney.”
Content discontent: I sometimes wonder if MaineToday Media CEO Richard Connor reads the newspapers he owns, the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, and Morning Sentinel. My skepticism about whether Connor ever scans an occasional issue arose because if he did, it’s hard to believe he’d make a statement like the one in a July 17 story announcing his appointment of Dale Duncan to the new position of president of all three pap
A case of confusion: You might think that a newspaper chain, when forced to cover a potentially embarrassing court case concerning itself, would be extra careful in making sure its story was clear and accurate.
You might think so, but when it comes to MaineToday Media, you’d be wrong.
In MTM’s July 12 story on the Larry Grard lawsuit, the papers (Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel) managed to mess up just about everything.
Snoozing at the copy desk: I’m sometimes a little fuzzy on Sunday morning, so I read this sentence in the July 10 Maine Sunday Telegram a couple of times before deciding its incomprehensibility had nothing to do with the aftereffects of late-night carousing.
“’It’s an intevaction on bond proposals until next year.”
No close quote at the end. No clear indication who said it. And no entry in the dictionary for “intevaction.”