11.21.2010

I'm Calling The Messenger Out On This One

Some company sets up shop in a local Decatur hotel (dicey proposition?) and offers to pay cash for your rare coins (dicey proposition again?) Ok, they may be legitimate. Who knows. But they were also willing to spend big bucks for a two page ad in the Messenger in today's edition. I don't blame the Messenger for printing it. If they wanted to throw money at me, I'd give them a banner ad if the price was right. (Psst. Call me.)

But what I wouldn't do is promote the company as legitimate news in the "Business Section" of the paper which conveniently followed their two page paid ad. There was not one critical or cautious thing said about the process, and it even referenced how one of the customers came in after seeing the ad in the Messenger. I've been a supporter of "the local paper" for years but, journalistically, you simply can't do that.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ethics

I am sure the prices paid was.......


Fair

Chris said...

As a former reporter with the Messenger, and as a former employee of various other newspapers, I can assure you that most newspapers in this country stopped caring about journalistic integrity years ago.

Advertising has far more influence over news content than you would imagine!

And a lot of publishers don't want negative coverage in their newspapers because they fear it would drive potential new businesses (as well as existing ones) out of town.

At one newspaper in Florida, a colleague of mine was told not to do a story about registered sex offenders living near children.....because one of them advertised his business with the newspaper.

You have to ask yourself who is looking out for you!

Anonymous said...

The Messenger has never had a problem taking ad money from puppy mills either. Shameful and inhumane!!

walt partin

Anonymous said...

It would be journalistically unethical if they were journalists, but they're not. I've had first-hand knowledge time and again of the Messenger being handed a great news item, and then doing absolutely nothing with it. Lots of personal favoritism controls that paper. If they don't like you, it is impossible for them to write anything good about you, no matter how unfair they are, and if they like you, nothing will sway them from writing glowing reports of everything you do, even when your actions are BEGGING to be brought into question. They can't even write a decent story about a church organist who has played for 50 YEARS at the same church. "She has played at several special events, including weddings." SEVERAL? How insanely stupid to use a word like that for someone who has played at COUNTLESS special events! Horrible word choice skills, and they call themselves "journalists", and are always heaping "awards" on themselves? Good Golly, Miss Molly!

Anonymous said...

Never thought I would miss Skip Nichols but he did cover the County Commissioners Court and other meetings. All we read now are "human interest" stories that I really don't find news. Then the publisher tells us how to vote and then doesn't like it when the readers complain about the staff opinion pieces and the political cartoons. The sports section is o.k. and I like Joe's photos.

I wouldn't go to a motel to sell anything; meaning coins.

Anonymous said...

If the economy were better, and if newspapers weren't struggling, I could easily see some company coming in here and starting up a daily to compete with the WCM. The reporters at such a paper could write stories about things that directly affect our lives, and not some human interest pap either!

Counties with much smaller populations have dailies, so why don't we?

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken - and it has been a while since I placed an ad in the Mess - but if you have a large ad then your business will be featured in the business section.

The business section has never been about "news" but about highlighting businesses - fair and balanced was never the norm on that page - promoting has been.

If you take your coins to a yahoo in a WC hotel room you get what you get.

Anonymous said...

I sold my ex old ladys ring and got 3/4 of what I paid for it a 2k pawn. paid 100 and got back $75 not a bad swap $25 to get rid of her and her kid was a fair deal to me. I need to run me a add in the Messenger for a new old lady

Goober said...

RE: 9:38
Wasn't it in a motel room where OJ finally "unraveled"?

If we just had Muckrakin' Jimmy Rainey back, all kinds of things would be on pgae 1 of the MESSENGER!