All the News that's Fit to Print

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Aug 23, 2006.


  1. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Some years back, I was a newspaper reporter which left me with a somewhat jaded view of the news media in general.

    What many people don't know is that reporters are often paid, as I was, by the inch. We were paid "$X" per inch, "$X" for each photo published, etc. The more inches we got into print, the more money we found in our paychecks. This was a real incentive to make "news" from vapor. If we got ahold of a good local issue, we could ride the wave for a week or two.

    Human interest stories were paid on a contract basis but the rates weren't great so I didn't spend too much time writing the "good news" because it took money out of my pocket.

    For the past year or so, we have had almost weekly stories about the local scandal - the police chief is having an affair with one of the female officers. Logic would dictate that two or maybe three articles would be sufficient to cover the real "news" but the articles have continued for almost a year.

    Money is being made by this scandal as the reporter feeds the frenzy.

    When you read your newspapers, think about that!
     
  2. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Interesting point. Almost everybody has read a newspaper article about something they saw, witnessed, or had prior knowledge about, and found factual errors.
     
  3. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    I didn't know reporters were paid by length. Nor did I know you were a reporter - though your writing captivates me, so it's not surprising.

    Thank you for the information. Another consideration while reading the news and a good answer to my eternal question; "Why don't they print the great things that happen everyday instead of the repetitive doom and gloom?"
     
  4. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Another advantage of keeping old new alive is the research, which is the time consuming part, has already been done. Its fairly simple to rehash old news, make a few calls to get a current quote, rearrange the story so it sounds different, and send it to print. It is always more fun to report current news but some days, there just isn't enough "fascinating" new stuff to get the editor interested. Remember, sex and scandal sell papers and every page of the paper has to be filled, either with content or advertising.
     
  5. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Or with garbage.
     
  6. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    What passes for content is frequently garbage. Too bad a lot of people don't recognize that.
     
  7. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    These days we are seeing more style and less substance. You know that is true when Paris Hilton actually gets her 15 minutes of fame.
     
  8. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Seems like more and more jobs out there are missing the most important aspect of good business. Ethics. Or is it that they have their own set of ethics based on what sells more papers, what gets more viewers or what have you? Some companies that start out with a good sound ethic are faced with a dilemma. Do you curb your ethics to keep going or do you stick to your ethics and fall into the vast well with the others that have gone before you?

    There is always a choice. You can print what is 'fantastic' or you can print what is fact. It is an ethical decision that people face and instead of taking their lumps they do away with the ethics in order to keep money in their pockets.

    I do not subscribe to any magazines, newspapers or such dribble unless they have a good ethics and their fantastic/fact ratio is something like 5%/95%. I don't want to hear about Cher's tummy tuck or Paris' new X-movie. I want to know the important things.

    So on with the circus. Just my thoughts on it.
     
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