Absence of Journalism

Filed in Delaware by on August 24, 2009

One of our frequent targets of derision is The News Journal — from their inexplicable and often wrong keeper of the Delaware Way, Mr. Ron Williams, to some of their very shallow reporting of local politics — this is a paper that doesn’t seem to know how to be the “paper of record”.

Delaware’s paper of record can frequently do very nice work –Sunday’s piece on the Mountain of Garbage was quite good (and we’d recommend taking a look at some of the players behind the cheerleading for incinerators and WTE plants). They just as frequently succumb to the gossip, innuendo and general high school tittering that was their piece last week on the Potter/Pastor D blowup.

Sunday they succumbed to more of the high school gossipy in their writing (that sure wasn’t reporting) about recent tensions and changes around the Delaware blogosphere. What we start with is their cluelessness about blogs — and why people would choose to be basically anonymous in a world where Google looks hard for you. We’ll continue by noting that Delaware’s “paper of record” didn’t contact any of us to make sure their narrative was adequately sourced (and I assume they didn’t contact any other blogs, either). We’ll also note that while they were tittering over the food fights, they missed the creation of at least one new, really fine blog, The Palmer Lyceum.

While the NJ staff are glued to us looking for more of the Secret Lives of Bloggers, they are avoiding stories that matter to people who live and pay taxes in this state. Like the fact that the Insurance Commissioner’s office has hired an industry lobbyist to do business development for Captive Insurance — and has hugely grown the staff to do that. All while the state is not supposed to be expanding programs and spending money. Like the fact that the state has a spanking new “think tank” that is not what it advertises itself to be — but is probably on all of their rolodexes for for future quoting purposes. And that work is not just here — Steve Newton at Delaware Libertarian has done detailed work debunking the conservative movement talking points in creation ( see here and here) that are the CRI’s work product. DelawarePolitics had info on the town hall that Governor Markell conducted in Dover last week, that wasn’t covered in the NJ. And let’s add in the live-blogging work that Mike Matthews has done — bringing us info about our school board, county council and other meetings that we’d never get as much detail from the NJ on.

But with all of the real news happening all over Delaware, apparently the Secret Lives of Bloggers is the topic that the NJ thinks will deliver value to their shareholders. Hope this helps you guys when the Gannett bean counters come looking for the next quarter’s pound of flesh.

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (5)

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  1. I think it’s jealousy. Of course, thanks NJ for the free publicity!

  2. donviti says:

    people tend to stare and get lost in my mangoes

  3. Speaking of mangoes, somehow the ‘News’-Journal missed the story of which Delaware politician is carrying the love child of which studly DL blogger. Of course, there are plenty of studly DL bloggers from which to choose…

  4. pandora says:

    Personally I’m taking it as a compliment. The MSM sees bloggers as a threat to their sloppy journalism.

    Mike Matthews’ school board coverage is an excellent example. The News Journal can’t hold a candle to what Mike does – the sad truth is, they don’t even try.

  5. nemski says:

    I was greatly surprised by the blurb. The fact that the News Journal cannot report on the Insurance Commissioner’s Office, but can spend time writing a Page 6 type article — wait, at least Page 6 talks to sources — simply, amazing.