Media Mutt Blog Archive June, 2012
Donald who? Since hedge-fund manager Donald Sussman became majority owner of MaineToday Media earlier this year, the company’s three daily newspapers – the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel – have been careful to run disclosure statements whenever they mentioned his wife, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree.
The disclosures were nowhere to be found in the June 29 editions, both in print and online.
Picky, picky: In theory, MaineToday Media’s new “Truth Test” feature is a good idea. It’s supposed to take politicians’ public statements and carefully fact-check them. Used judiciously, this kind of journalism ought to result in a useful service to the voting public.
So far, that’s rarely been the case.
Shortfall on deficit reporting: On June 18, several Maine news operations produced stories on the discovery of $12.5 million in red ink in the state Department of Health and Human Services budget.
Ideologically ignored: In the wake of former CEO Richard Connor’s alleged financial mismanagement, the MaineToday Media newspapers dumped most of their freelance columnists to save money. Now that new majority owner Donald Sussman has injected enough cash into the operation to stave off bankruptcy, the Portland Press Herald, Morning Sentinel, and Kennebec Journal are again attempting to restore some local flavor to their op-ed pages.
It’s June, but there’s definitely a chill in the air. A state government agency is considering a rule that, in effect, would allow it to make decisions as to what constitutes a real news organization.
Tongue tied: On June 3, Meghan Torjussen was anchoring the late news on WMTW-TV in Portland and attempted to give the results of the NBA playoff game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. Torjussen announced the contest had “just ended. It ended in a tie.”
Capital news from Capitol News: Capitol News Service’s Mal Leary returned to action with a June 4 piece on taxing Internet sales. Leary has been absent from his State House beat for several weeks, after kidney stones, an infection, pneumonia and a mild heart attack hit him in succession.