Media Commentary – August 24, 2009

Ok, so I’m sure most of you are going to think that me making comments in a media commentary about my competition here in ML is bordering on bad form. And you are likely right. But in this case I don’t think I can help it.

First, a caveat. I do not dislike my competition. I am of the mind that this town is too small to have two newspapers and ideally we should merge into one. That would give better coverage of the area, because we can assign people certain areas and they can devote their time better to those fewer areas than the current arrangement permits. Yes, purists will decry my conglomerationist thoughts, and perhaps rightly so. But that’s just what I think.

On to the commentary.

So as I said, I have no ill feelings towards the ML Progress. That being said, I have some things to say to it, or rather, about it.

1. It would behoove it to identify the key players in its photographs. By and large, there are many times when the subjects of the photographs are not identified, when it is easy to do so. I don’t like that I have to get names, but it’s a key component of the job.

2. Proofreading is imperative. Two examples from recent issues. One, the headline to a letter to the editor stated a set of meetings was ‘a scam.’ Fine. However, in reading the letter, the final line of the letter mentions how those people who thought the meetings were ‘a sham’ were right. I am pretty sure the headline meant to convey that the meetings were, as the writer put it, ‘a sham,’ but something slipped through the cracks and the entire meaning changed. Two, in a piece about the old cemetery here in ML, the writer (an intern from a J-School no less) talks about how the ‘cite’ of the cemetery had fallen into disrepair (or something to that effect, I don’t have the paper in front of me). I think he meant ‘site,’ but again something slipped through the cracks.

So there. I don’t have too many issues with the ML Progress. I like the reporters, mostly, and the paper gives me ideas for what to cover and how to cover it. But little things like these seriously undermine the paper’s credibility.

Now, I by no means think I am superior. My parents have noticed typos in my work. And if the MLNP was making so many small mistakes, I would be on its case too. I am an equal opportunity ‘you’re a dumbass’ labeller.