Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weber County Forum Sunday Funnies - "Cheers and Jeers"

One would-be Standard-Examiner page editor throws in his own 2¢

By Bob Becker

Since the Standard-Examiner is the source for most of what this thread discusses, maybe this is a good opportunity for a list of recent "Cheers and Jeers" for the SE.

Cheer: The SE's fact checking Superintendent Smith's claim that his school district is the only one left in Utah with paid professional librarians in its schools. The SE updated story establishes clearly that Superintendent Smith didn't know what the hell he was talking about. [The only other possibility is that he was being duplicitous. Not encouraging when an Ogden public official's best defense against a charge of duplicity is that he was being incompetent instead.] Good work, SE.

Jeer: running a shorter story on the firings first, which included Smith's claim, unchecked, and not providing readers with any hint that the short story was [in Dan S.'s term] a "placeholder" for a longer story being prepared. I know in the now Twitterpated world of news, it's important to get something up fast. But give readers some indication that what you have up is merely a teaser, that more is coming. Readers had no way to know that the shorter story leaving Smith's statement un-checked wasn't going to be the end of the reporting.

Jeer: Today's [Sunday's] front page of the SE is.... well, let's be delicate and say "thin" of substantive content for the front page of an urban daily on what it's editors tell me is its most-read daily edition. The lead story, with the biggest headline, taking up half the page, is about a decline in beauty pageant entrants in Utah of late. Much more than half the space devoted to this story is taken up by two pictures of last year's Miss Utah pageant winner. More pic than text. This is Utah local news, but not front page news. Second [of three] front page stories is about DNA testing of the beavers rescued from the latest Chevron pipeline spill. OK, it's an interesting local story. But front page? And front page when the Life section of the paper today devotes 3/4 of its front page, plus another entire page, to another story about those same beavers ["Beavers on the Rebound"]. That story runs nine pictures, which take up considerably more space than the text of the story. Can't help wondering then what the Beaver DNA story was doing on the front page at all, and can't help wondering if the SE is now running more and more pix in order to cut down on the actual text of stories and news? Is this the first hint of publisher changes with the new guy on board? More pictures, less text [and so fewer stories' or shorter ones, to make room for more pictures?], Last year's beauty queen filling nearly all the space above the fold on the front page, Sunday edition? Let us hope not.

Cheer: Becky Cairns "Beaver on the Rebound" story. It's a good features story. Well written and interesting. Not sure nine pictures served much purpose, but the story was a plus.

Jeer: Caption on one of the two pix on the front page running with the Pageant story: It reads as follows: "Kara Arnold of Bountiful, squats so she can be draped with the sash proclaiming her winner of the Miss Utah 2012 pageant." "Squats"? Ah, no. Beauty pageant winners do not "squat" on stage. Dips or bends, perhaps, if some description of her movement is thought absolutely necessary [actually, none was necessary for the picture]. But definitely not "squats." An inelegant choice. Reminds me of the story about a reporter describing Joan Crawford as "sweating" under the klieg lights. Someone, I forget who, corrected him: "Men sweat. Women perspire. Miss Crawford glows."

Cheer: WAPO wire service story on Cedar Mesa. Off beat, not expected, interesting read.

Cheer: J. Lampro's front page story on alcoholism. The only one of the three front page stories that belonged there this morning.


Dan S. said...

Meanwhile, the real Weber Count news is in the Trib:

blackrulon said...

The real question about the SLTribune story mentioned by Dan S, is why doesn't the S-E have this story or one similar in the paper?

rudizink said...

Well... at least WE have our own article up:
Salt Lake Tribune: Powder Mountain Buyer Riles Eden Residents
(Breathin' a sigh of relief.)

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