Friday, February 23, 2007

We're #2! (of 2)

A Herald-Sun article announced, “The Herald-Sun has won seven N.C. Press Association awards for outstanding work in 2006, including coverage of the Duke lacrosse case, sports and photography.” Editor Bob Ashley gushed, "I'm proud to work with some truly outstanding writers, editors and photographers at The Herald-Sun, and to see their work honored by their professional peers -- especially on some of the biggest stories of the past year -- is gratifying.”

Then look at the fine print: “Second place in general news reporting for coverage of the Duke lacrosse case . . . The Herald-Sun competes with the state’s other large newspapers in the over-35,000 circulation category.”

Since the Charlotte Observer generally reprints N&O stories, there have been a grand total of two North Carolina papers that have published more than a handful of non-wire services articles about the case. Perhaps the announcement above, therefore, should be refined: “Second place [of two newspapers] in general news reporting for coverage of the Duke lacrosse case.”

33 comments:

bill anderson said...

The Hurled-Scum has managed to give us disgraceful coverage of this case, not to mention to be the subject of a change of venue motion. Of course, Melanie Sill was "proud" of the early N&O stories (i.e. "Dancer Recall Details of Ordeal" and subsequent pieces of dishonesty).

Thank goodness, there was one adult journalist in the Triangle area, Joe Neff. Without him, the coverage would have been truly horrible.

GPrestonian said...

LOL, good post, KC! :)

I guess it's safe to assume that the N&O took 1st place?

Anonymous said...

funny stuff

Anonymous said...

The Hearld-Sun cover-up of the DPD conspiracy to frame the Duke lacrosse players is lamentable.

Bob Ashley should be shown the door.

Anonymous said...

a product of the liberal culture's theme - "nobody loses, we're all high self esteem worthy winners"

Anonymous said...

I had some emails w/ Ashley last summer. He is a smug bastard.

Chicago said...

I have also had some e-mails with Ashley and he, like Irv Joyner and so many others have the same attitude of "what did I do wrong?" they play dumb and wonder why people are questioning them.

Chicago said...

I have also had some e-mails with Ashley. The guy loves playing the "what did I do wrong" card. Both he and Irv Joyner get very defensive about any question someone asks them, no matter how maturely the question is asked.

The last thing they ever do though is actually answer the question.

MTU'76 said...

On the subject of media.
I just came back from
YOUTUBE DUKE LAX VIDEOS where 'our side' has been represented by a raft of creativity. I cannot give you a lecture on left brain vs right brain processing, verbal vs visual communication, but I know what I like. I endorse all of the videos there that support the Duke Three. My husband, who is hard of hearing, finds some of the videos frustrating. I Hope you can appreciate them. PS I couldn't help noticing how awful Karla's jewelry looks.

Anonymous said...

Umm, you're forgetting the Greensboro News & Record and Winston-Salem Journal, both of which should have larger subscription bases than the DH-S. Despite rumors to the contrary, North Carolina actually does have some cities beyond Raleigh and Charlotte.

Nonetheless, there would realistically only be two papers competing for continual coverage of the lacrosse case, those being the H-S and N&O due to proximity. Second out of 2 ain't half bad! ;-)

Anonymous said...

#2 of 2. Where is the Wilmington Journal in this? Can't they be #3 of 2?

scott said...

If there were 100 newspapers reporting, the H-S would be the 100th "best". There constant position would be Nth "best" where N = number of newspapers reporting.

In the world of real work, people and organizations that provide a substandard product or service do not receive awards.

Cedarford said...

Having been a paid guest columnist for a few years (2 from 2001-2002) one thing I did learn is that regular print journalists have set up all these "awards" in every category from a number of "objective committees" of fellow journalists. In a 3 to 5 year span, every full-time columnist, reporter, newspaper is virtually guaranteed a trophy by category.
It was quite a surprise in my visits in to pick up a check or meet with an editor to peek in on the cube of a reporter I knew was lazy & clueless, had been for a decade, and see a solid wall of his cube plastered with award plaques.

They resemble nothing better than the "self-esteem" prizes handed out to all kids that finish a race for "performing their best".

The Herald Sun is just pudgy little Jimmy, finally finishing his 5K run (the 1st 200 meters)/walk(the last 1800 meters) 20 minutes after the next-to-last contestent finished, with a bad attitude to boot, and still getting a big trophy for "trying".

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.21:

Yes, know of the others, but they basically didn't cover the lacrosse story with their own reporting (almost always relied on wire service coverage). So, it was a 2 of 2 in terms of actual reporting.

Anonymous said...

There's a story from the early fifties about a race held at a Moscow track between an American Ford and a Russian car.
The race was supposed to be a five-hundred kilometer contest, but the Russian car broke down after 50 km. The Ford cruised home handily.
The headline in Tass the next morning: "Russian car comes in second; Americans next to last."

Anonymous said...

They will soon have to start giving the H-S away, like they do the Charlotte Observer at WalMarts. How embarrassing, giving the paper away to keep circulation up to keep gouging advertisers for readers they don't have. H-S will make a GREAT free tabloid, like Creative Loafing, except the copy won't be as good.
Kemp

Panama Jack said...

I'm not sure this is fair. While I do agree with the commenter who mentioned that some journalism awards (perhaps most particularly at the state or student level) are often "self-esteem awards," I don't think it is fair to criticize the H-S for mentioning its Gen. News awards (among the others that it also received).

However, typically the judges can award as many or as few prizes as they want. So I think the fact that only two awards were given speaks more to the need for other media outlets to step up, rather than any particular lack of worth in the H-S's reporting. Many contests don't actually have to award a "first place," either they can choose to only award a third place, or an honorable mention, etc, if they don't feel the reporting is strong enough. (Though I'm not sure this is the case in this particular contest.)

Just a thought,
-Jack

GS said...

I'm sure the stockholders would rather have had increase in readership (and profits) under Ashley instead.

Why is he still there?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, too many "journalists" (who used to have the honorable name "newspaper reporters")think the First Amendment means never having to say they made a mistake. I have been on the receiving end of many news media reports that were provably W*R*O*N*G, but do you think the reports were ever corrected?? We're just seeing more of the same-old same-old here in Durham. And BTW, KC: I fully agree with the critics who called you on your weak criticism of the NYT. That rag has been on the wrong side of every issue for the past two decades!

Anonymous said...

One wonders if the NC papers have had circulation audits lately. In 2004 the Dallas Morning News was inflating subscription numbers.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is a humorous post, but surely you are misreading the Herald-Sun article--do you think there is really an award for "general news reporting for coverage of the Duke lacrosse case"? Wasn't it more likely a second place for general news reporting, which the paper received for its coverage of the Duke lacrosse case?

KC Johnson said...

According to the article, the award was for coverage of the lacrosse case. I checked on the NC Press Assoc. website, but it had no listings of any awards.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I understand that the article said the award was for coverage of the lacrosse case--but as a matter of syntax (?--I'm never sure if I'm using that word correctly) I think it could be interpreted two ways--i.e., it could mean, as you read it, that the association gave awards "for general news reporting for coverage of the Duke lacrosse case", of which the Herald-Sun received one, though then I think it would be more idiomatic to say "for general news reporting covering the Duke lacrosse case" or "in coverage" rather than "for coverage." Or it could mean that the award was given for general news reporting, and this specific second place was awarded for the H-S coverage of the Duke lacrosse case. If you compare some of the other listings, your interpretation would lead to the conclusion that the Press Association had a category of awards for "special sections for "2003: Visions of Tomorrow" " (if so it would be especially embarrassing only to receive third place, since presumably no other paper had a special section so titled)and an category of awards for "sports photography for staff photographer Bernard Thomas." --No?

Anonymous said...

KC,

I check this site daily for news on the case and I have told MANY friends about the site as well.

DIW is tops!

P.S. I agree with your new policy re: posts

Jacqueline said...

Here is a link of the NC press awards for 2006: http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070222/APN/702223145. You have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the article for the over 35,000 category and then past numerous categories(General News Reporting,News Feature Writing, Lifestyle Feature Writing, Profile Feature, News Enterpris Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Business Writing, Sports News Reporting, Sports Feature Writing,
Editorials, Lighter Columns, Serious Columns, Sports Columns, Criticism, Headline Writing; photography and graphics) until you get to see that the Hearld Sun got first place (staff) for Sports Coverage- hardly the profile of coverage of the Lacrosse case. As has been said, there are LOTS of awards!

Anonymous said...

MTU---

Just got in.....checking KC's place. I want to thank you for posting the link to the youtube video. For some reason it really hit me.

That video and the song attached to it were poignant....looking back now over the last year. I'm always ready to cry when emotional events collide with music anyway......and watching that one just now really highlights this tragedy.

Of course, one could also see some comedy there as it relates to the Gang of 88 and Brodhead....however, most of it is a dramatic film waiting to happen.

Perhaps the reason I've been hit so hard by this case is because I truly wanted such a different world from the one that has been revealed here.

That's why I get so angry......as many, many others have. I began this life expecting so much more than this.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Did the N&O enter its March 24 and 25 lacrosse coverage?

JWM said...

KC,

Are you sure you're right about the N&O receiving a "First" from the NC Press Association for its Duke lax coverage?

Most journalists I talk to in NC disagree with your very positive view of the N&O's Duke lax coverage.

They believe the N&O got the story wrong, did great harm to innocent people and embarrassed their profession.

They're reluctant to say that in public, but they feel it very strongly.

I know you're in touch with some of the N&O staffers about your book. Did you hear about the award from one of those folks? I couldn’t find anything about it at the N&O’s site.

Mind you, I'm not saying the N&O didn't get the award. I'd just be shocked if it did.

Journalists in NC know that last March the N&O withheld from their news organizations and the public the critical news that during the “anonymous interview” Crystal Mangum ID’ed Kim Roberts and made statements about Roberts.

Those journalists also know the N&O is covering up on the interview and refusing to disclose what was withheld from them and the public.

They know about the “Vigilante” poster. They know about withholding news of the players cooperation and instead promulgating the “wall of silence” falsehood. And so much more.

I know there’s a lot of “networking” and “back scratching” that influences the NC Press awards but I think it would just be too hard for NCPA to give the N&O a “First” for its grossly biased, inflammatory and often false Duke lax reporting.

I hope you go back and double check with you source(s).

Thank you,

John in Carolina

JWM said...

KC,

Are you sure you're right about the N&O receiving a "First" from the NC Press Association for its Duke lax coverage?

Most journalists I talk to in NC disagree with your very positive view of the N&O's Duke lax coverage.

They believe the N&O got the story wrong, did great harm to innocent people and embarrassed their profession.

They're reluctant to say that in public, but they feel it very strongly.

I know you're in touch with some of the N&O staffers about your book. Did you hear about the award from one of those folks? I couldn’t find anything about it at the N&O’s site.

Mind you, I'm not saying the N&O didn't get the award. I'd just be shocked if it did.

Journalists in NC know that last March the N&O withheld from their news organizations and the public the critical news that during the “anonymous interview” Crystal Mangum ID’ed Kim Roberts and made statements about Roberts.

Those journalists also know the N&O is covering up on the interview and refusing to disclose what was withheld from them and the public.

They know about the “Vigilante” poster. They know about withholding news of the players cooperation and instead promulgating the “wall of silence” falsehood. And so much more.

I know there’s a lot of “networking” and “back scratching” that influences the NC Press awards but I think it would just be too hard for NCPA to give the N&O a “First” for its grossly biased, inflammatory and often false Duke lax reporting.

I hope you go back and double check with you source(s).

Thank you,

John in Carolina

Anonymous said...

The anonymous commenter at 6:02 has it right. Saying that the Herald-Sun came in second in the category of "reporting on the lacrosse case" would be like saying that "Helen Mirren could win the Oscar for 'Best Actress for The Queen' ... that shouldn't be an award, because she was only competing with the other actresses in The Queen." This whole item is just based on a mistaken premise.

Anonymous said...

John In Carolina---

I must agree with you. For months after the hoax began, the N&O grudgingly began to allow the facts to be printed. I cannot tell you how difficult it was.....right on up until June.....to get anything even on the opinion page that was negative about the accuser, Mike Nifong, and the horrendous conduct of most of the black community in Durham.

I think that after so much information became known to the public, Orage Quarles was forced to put some sanity into the coverage.

And when Timothy Tyson's and Allan Gurganus' slurs against the lacrosse players with their lengthy opinion pieces in the NY Times....reprinted in the N&O, didn't build the frenzy they expected.....

......the N&O put monumental efforts into rehashing the Wilmington Riots of 1898.

Why now? Why this year?

We all know why. To get a huge dose of "black victimhood" out to the public.......lest we put too much thought into the horrific treatment of Reade, Collin, and Dave.

KC is right to praise Neff's recent coverage; however, it has been a long time coming.

After they were forced into it by national and international spotlights.

Debrah

Just Another Anony said...

I'm way late to this thread (today is Feb. 27, for the record, since the blogmaster has his comments template set up to show only post times, not dates).

But I wanted to point out, also for the record, that a couple of the above commenters are correct: The field in which the Herald-Sun placed second was not some newly minted category called "Coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Case." The category is "General News Reporting." The work for which the Herald-Sun took second place in this annual category happened to be its lacrosse-case coverage.

To be fair, the cited Herald-Sun article could have made this more clear with a simple comma: "Second place in general news reporting, for coverage of the Duke lacrosse case." But it's also quite a jump to presume that the N.C. Press Association invents arbitrary new categories each year based on temporal, ongoing events.

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