Friday, June 13, 2008

ODd Journalism . . .

Was anyone else bothered by this story in our Observer-Dispatch yesterday: "Former EDGE winner a sex offender"?

The kiddie porn conviction was three years old . . . so that is not news.

The disqualification of this person's company from the EDGE Business Plan Contest prize happened weeks ago . . . so that is not news either . . . although the public never got an adequate explanation why this company was disqualified.

The OD now implies that somehow the conviction and the disqualification are connected, yet offers not a shred of evidence, such as a contest rule that disqualifies entrants with a conviction.

This is not news, it is speculation.

A more plausible explanation is that the judging may have not been impartial and EDGE got caught by a disgruntled contestant. (Frankly, I was shocked when the innovative "rubber sidewalk" entry did not win.) Why else has the runner up not been awarded the prize? But this would be speculation, too . . . and while EDGE's silence invites speculation, it does not convert it into news.

Why is this person's sin hung out like laundry for the public to see? Did he do something politically that the OD does not like? Or is the OD running interference for EDGE? Or does the OD just look for excuses to run provocative headlines to sell papers, no matter who it hurts?

This odd story allows us to speculate on what the OD's motivations may be.


Anonymous said...

My observation is that the OD reporters are actually doing knee-jerk reactionary stories (after the fact) that are first published in the blogs--particularly TOPIX. It appears as if these are amateurish attempts to be "investigative" when I agree with you completely--was it really necessary to bring up what many knew about the individual who won. It wasn't necessary at all and you are right--it is very old news. Even the blogs gave the guy the benefit (deserved or Undeserved) not to come right out and say what he had done--because in reality; it was actually irrelevant to the award.

swimmy said...

I was wondering the same thing too.

clipper said...

I have to agree. It is sad when a newspaper has to resort to such low level reporting in order to fill pages and sell papers.

If they were not so politically biased, they would find enough news to publish in daily activity at city hall. If they were not so biased, they could put up a legitimate comment forum on their on-line homepage, and let it roll without interference. That would bring readership to that outlet.

Instead, they seem to resort to extremely prejudicial muckraking, and personal attacks.

I am sure they are in bed with the edge folks.

Maybe Donna should check Jerry's browser, and also young Andy's computer. Hmmmm. Young Andy may be looking at a little porn ,when he isn't pursuing his "mommy made job" blogging on legion baseball.

I am sure that the OD justifies their support for EDGE in thinking that it really does what it was meant to do. What a misconception that is!!!

Anonymous said...

Would a Topix organized boycott doany good? I mean, Gatehouse can only put up with so much crap right?

Gannet split when it realized what it was dealing with it seems...

Keep up the good work Strike. You always seem to be a MUST READ!

The UticaSux gang.

clipper said...

LOL. I can see a Topix boycott working, if we all boycott TOPIX for a few days! The OD would be lost, and frantically reading every blog in the Central NY area, looking for hints at what the news might be!

It would be a totally new concept! Reporters leaving the building during working hours?? Whazup with that?? Leave the desk, and actually go where news is happening?? I hope they have GPS, or they will get lost when they get beyond City Hall, and the Police Station.

They would be "exploring new frontiers" if they were to wander farther than their monitors, the coffee pot, or the restrooms on the third floor of the OD building.

Anonymous said...

Hard to gauge. The problem as you have seen as well as that some of the people on topix can't resist the personal attacks and mud slinging to the degree that it makes them totally without credibility. What the OD would really benefit from is a what other communities have: either an ombudsman or community advisory board that is designed for the specific purpose of offering a balance between the paper and the public. as a former journalist, this makes sense and i have experienced it working. if the paper was balanced, we would perhaps see alot less of the garbage on topix because i also believe that some of these people are writing out of sheer frustration. the issue with the edge winner story should have been ignored by the od; instead they have shown the lack of experience and depth of their own staff. i certainly wish they had applied their investigative skills to what's really going on in the community. it lends itself to the old adage: when people don't have real information, they make it up.
one final thought: let's not forget that the blogs such as topix that showcase such a high degree of mudslinging are really a reminder of the small town gossip mentality of Utica. The reason that some of us react so distatefully to it is because the gossip mongers have taken their voices from the phone lines and coffee shops to the internet. for those of us who are accustomed to blogs that deal with real issues; we are simply offended.