Monday, October 20, 2008

What McClatchy’s Pruitt says and what he delivers

Yesterday I posted N&O partisan swill and race pass for Obama in response to the N&O’s editorial page endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama. The post links to the editorial’s full text.

This post today includes a comment I left on the endorsement thread and the full text of an email N&O senior editor Linda Williams sent to newsroom staff the morning following Gov. Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech at the RNC.

I end the post with McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt definition of journalism and a few comments of mine.

My thread comment - - -

You don't say a word about the racist, anti-American Jeremiah Wright, unrepentant terrorist Will Ayers, or convicted felon Tony Rezko whom Sen. Obama befriended and built his public career with.

Why not?

Obama said his Grandma was "a typical white person."

You didn't say whether that's like saying "a typical Jew."

Why not?

You tore into those Duke boys, but you gave Obama a race pass.

Josephus Daniels “lived” in your editorial.


Senior editor Linda Williams’ email was sent by someone at the N&O to former N&O columnist G. D. Gearino who posted it along with context information at his eponymous blog. He offered no comment on the email itself lest he sway readers.

Williams’ email to N&O newsroom staff - - -

A few comments on some good work in today’s paper:

–A lively front page that gave our readers plenty to talk about.

Has the political right truly turned the corner and will cease to demonize opponents on so-called moral issues, or are we witnessing the boldest, most cynical, most hypocritical political spin in modern history?

What is one to make of John McCain’s greeting at the Twin Cities airport yesterday of America’s most famous baby mama with a warm hug, and the apparent attaboy pat on the shoulder for the self-described “f***ing redneck” baby daddy?

Are we now celebrating teenagers’ raging hormones?

The claims department feature (see 8a) is a great reader service. I would like to see more scrutiny of the “facts” in Sarah Palin’s speech last night.

Now to our local politicians….Is Kenn Gardner just an inept liar or a man so greedy that he doesn’t care whether we think he’s an inept liar as long as he gets paid?
–A newsy and entertaining Triangle&Co. front.

I’d bet that Barry Saunders is hearing a lot of amens this morning as well as feeling a lot of hate. Good. A columnist should stir ‘em up. Much of America may have forgotten, but the black community has a very long memory of Republicans demonizing black unwed moms.

The black wire–radio and a growing black blogesphere–is crackling this morning with wicked “Juno” jokes. In general, black bloggers ( A warning to the easily offended, the name is a big clue) are having a great time with the GOP show in Minneapolis.

–Lots of interesting people stories in the sports section about college athletes and the pros. For those following tennis’ sibling rivalry, Serena has gained a slight lead by beating older sister Venus in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

–Good, timely story–and an inviting headline (Life over breasts)– on the Life, etc. cover

Folks, Williams’ email is really something, isn’t it?

For the record, the N&O tells readers its news reporting is "fair and accurate."

There are people who believe that, just as there are people (mostly very young) who believe the Easter Bunny brings all those baskets.

And that brings us to McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt’s definition of journalism published in the Aug./Sept. 2003 American Journalism Review:

"Quality newspapers provide complete, thorough coverage of local, national and international news and features so that people can be fully informed, participate in civic life and just live a better life--from recipes to the actions of city councils and the United Nations.

"Newspapers are the sole remaining mass medium in each local market, so they are essential in not only informing readers but also in creating a sense of cohesion within a community. No other medium or institution, including government, can play that role given the fragmentation of audiences that has occurred in all other forms of media."
I like what Pruitt says. The kind of newspaper he describes would be a great asset to our community and country.

The trouble is the Raleigh News & Observer is the kind of newspaper you’d expect senior editor Linda Williams and other N&O journalists like her to publish.

What’s the name of your community’s newspaper? What’s it like? Is it like what Pruitt says or what he delivers in Raleigh?


Anonymous said...

I was just reading blog comments at a journalism site, and one commenter attacked another over using correct punctuation. Who really cares about punctuation on blog comments? Out-of-work journos are getting testy I guess.

However the testy one said “You are a f***ing moron, are you Sarah Palin?” That is so pathetic, this person says they formerly wrote for a newspaper. Makes me wonder if the demise of the dead tree media can come fast enough.

Anonymous said...

John, In case all the interested people didn’t see this, I think it deserves a rerun. Go Mike, I knew you would rise to the top.
-Ex-Duke coach Pressler named to lead U.S. at 2010 worlds- news services

SMITHFIELD, R.I. -- Bryant lacrosse coach Mike Pressler was named coach of the U.S. men's lacrosse team, which will compete in the 2010 world championships in England.