Tag Archives: crimes against journalism

Journalism by Press Release

Looking at my calendar, I see that we are almost at the halfway mark between the August 9 primary and the November 8 election. And I’m still waiting for the serious news coverage to begin.

So far, it’s been just short of pathetic. Reporters have chased around the obvious opportunities — press releases, press conferences, debates — but initiated very little on their own, and done virtually no fact-checking or analysis of candidates’ positions.

Maybe they’re just waiting. Or maybe the market-driven diminution of our media corps has reached the point where there simply isn’t any meat left on the bones.

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Today’s Free Press front page is just perfect

The Burlington Free Press’ descent into whoredom continues apace. Today’s front page encapsulates every worrying trend in the devolution of a once-adequate newspaper — sorry, “media property.”

The front page, for those not close enough to a library or convenience store to give it an eyeball, features Don Sinex, owner of the Burlington Town Center Mall. Sinex is seeking city approval for a complete makeover of the mall, including two 14-story towers that would be the tallest human-made buildings in the city. Sinex is certainly newsworthy; it’s the layout, and all the surrounding circumstances, that illustrate the shortcomings of the Queen City’s Newsroom Of The Future.

For starters, there’s the fact that the Free Press has been giving this story constant, breathless coverage for quite a while now — interrupted only by its ardent pursuit of Trump-related clickbait. I understand that this is a major story regarding the development of downtown Burlington, and I don’t mind quantity coverage with some balance to it. This, however, is giving over the paper’s most valuable real estate to Sinex.

And if you don’t think this was a pro-Sinex puff piece, just look at the headline:

Last Best Plan for Burlington Mall

If that isn’t an editorial, I don’t know what is. The paper could have said “Developer Touts Last Best Plan” or something like that, but no. This Is “The Last Best Plan.”

Subtle.

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Is Adam Silverman an obnoxious little jerk, or does he just work for an obnoxious little newspaper?

Great Moments In Journalism, courtesy of the Great Journalist who recently Tweetblocked me. This is the first sentence — the first sentence, I kid you not — of an article posted on the Freeploid’s website.

The Burlington Free Press was first to report about the Dec. 10, 1971, disappearance of Lynne Schulze, an 18-year-old freshman at Middlebury College whose case recently has been linked to Robert Durst.

Jesus Christ on a cracker. Joseph Pulitzer spins in his grave. A.J. Liebling farts in your general direction. Charles Foster Kane gives a sly nod of approval.

If that isn’t the most shameless, blatant, tone-deaf example of self-promotion I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.

According to Silverman, the number-one fact you need to know isn’t the 44-year-old unsolved murder or the new revelations about the case. It’s the fact that the freakin’ Burlington Free Press “was first to report” Schulze’s disappearance, and God damn it, we deserve the credit!

On the other hand… the fact that the Addison Independent was the first to report the possible link between Schulze and Durst?

No, the Free Press doesn’t mention that.

Assholes.