Just some of the stories today that impact your life:

Big stories. Big news.

Top story on the Times Union website?

AWKWARD HOLIDAY PHOTOS! Also, hot late-breaking news: “super-cute” seal pup curls up on a couch in New Zealand, a story that went viral yesterday morning.

Oh, and the kicker? The slideshow they link to lets us know that they basically are just reproducing pictures from the site Awkward Family Photos, so it’s not even original content. Plus, the photos that they used in the slidewshow aren’t recent submissions. Some of them have been on that site for ages. Oh, and their link to Awkward Family Photos itself is broken because whoever wrote it failed to add that important “http://” at the end of the link.

Here’s the thing: there’s no shortage of very good, hard-working reporters working for local newspapers. But they are obscured and buried by an editorial staff that is woefully out of touch (their new printing press is sure to catapult them into the 20th Century) or, even worse, sacrificing the integrity and dignity of their brand for the sake of a few hundred more clicks from people who want anything but news from a news site.

Meanwhile, the only other outlet for local news has pop-unders and God knows what else at their site and has some embarrassingly severe issues with copy editing.

Guys, can I just get some fucking news? Please?

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3 Responses to Local media watch: they’re your source, if you dig deep enough

  1. Anonymous says:

    Part of the issue is that the website seems to need a semi-permanent visual, while at the same time, the scroll changes.  So the most important stories don’t show up on the scroll either, unless it’s the most recent.(seal pup, accident).  And this is hardly solely the domain of the TU; msn.com is even worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      “So the most important stories don’t show up on the scroll either, unless it’s the most recent.”

      I’m not sure that’s actually the case. I recall them telling me how they specifically do placement and/or “pagination” to move stories up and down and/or into the slide. It’s customizable, not run on a script; that way they avoid putting in stories that don’t have photos.

      And while MSN.com is worse, they aren’t a news site (The N is for Network; technically it’s the site for all things media/culture-related that Microsoft is engaged in). MSNBC, on the other hand, I won’t even get started on.

  2. J Eric Smith says:

    Hey dooder,

    I linked back to this page on an article I wrote comparing the newspapers in Des Moines and Albany . . . http://indiemoines.com/2011/12/26/a-tale-of-two-newspapers/

    Hope you don’t mind!


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