Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Daily Gazette Needs A Face Lift.

I may be cutting my own throat by criticizing The Daily Gazette. The Sunday Gazette has published many of my articles over the past fifteen years and paid me for them to boot. But publishing a huge, two part series on a 56 year old Scotia resident’s face lift is a little more than I can stand. The second part ran today.

I am sorry that Samantha Buck does not have the self assurance to age gracefully. I am sorry that she has bought into the distinctly American idea that aging is some sort of evil.

But I feel even more sorry for poor folks throughout the world that could live a whole year on what it cost for Samantha’s face lift.

I also feel sorry for the people who could benefit from The Daily Gazette spending more money and time on investigative journalism rather than on lifestyle pieces. One of the big complaints from the media is that investigative journalism is too expensive. The real problem, however, is not that the media doesn’t have enough money to do investigative journalism, it’s that they don’t allocate the money properly. Too many touched up press releases. Too many puff pieces. Not enough news and not enough digging beneath the surface of the news.

The Daily Gazette is not the only culprit. Actually, as I have said before, The Gazette does more investigative journalism than most of the media in The Capital Region. Nevertheless, it’s not enough.

4 Comments:

  • So the Gazette should can all reporting besides hard news and investigative pieces?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:19 AM  

  • Your comment in the form of a question is typical of a reader who is literate only in the sense that he can read words but still lacks the ability to comprehend what is being said. Nowhere in my post did I advocate that The Gazette should can all reporting besides hard news and investigative pieces? I do believe, however, that more emphasis needs to be placed on hard news and investigative journalism. The media has moved too far in the direction of soft news and needs a more balanced approach.

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 8:27 AM  

  • At the gazette, that's called enterprise journalism (although the powers-that-be never really define what that is). Reporters there are told to go out and be enterprising and find stories of interest (e.g. interesting local characters) as opposed to process journalism (like covering school board meetings). Part of the recent redesign there was an emphasis on stories like the one you mentioned (although I didn't see it) as well as larger photos that are more closely tied to the stories. You may have noticed the Gazette's using larger art on a more regular basis.

    By Anonymous valleygadfly, at 9:13 PM  

  • The Gazette, like many newspapers, finds itself in a quandry when it comes to reporting the news. They're halfway between small daily coverage --i.e. the quick-turnaround stories with little analysis --and the large market coverage, where news is mulled, processed and investigated. The problem is, readers don't challenge the editors in either way, so often they're stabbing in the dark to find out what works best for circulation numbers. As of now, the Gazette seems a bit more to be leaning toward quantity of coverage, rather than quality. All this said, you're 100 percent right in your assertions, and, as a fellow reader of the Gazette, I would urge a campaign to prompt the management to invest in such said investigative pieces. After all, it's that kind of journalism that would ultimatley set it into a class of its own, and not just the over-sized lumox pushing around the little guys in the sandbox of community journalism.

    By Blogger Horatio Alger, at 1:36 PM  

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