April 29, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Aspen Daily News "Hard news is good to find"

Long live the King.  Terrific and somewhat brutally succinctly stated column out of the 'Usual Suspect' aka Dave Danforth.

Up on the Aspen Daily News.

Dave Danforth:
"In 2009, Newsday, the daily paper on Long Island, played up a story its owners didn’t like.  The New York Knicks’ Eddy Curry had been named in a sex harassment claim by his male driver.

Newsday is a tabloid paper, but not in the same brawling tradition as its big-city neighbors, the New York Post or Daily News. Nonetheless, the story was bound to attract attention as a sports tale in the sports-crazed New York metro area.

That was just fine, except for a detail that eventually cost editor John Mancini his job. Newsday has been owned since 2008 by Cablevision, whose father-son ownership of Charles and James Dolan also own both the Knicks and Rangers.....

........Newsday did some digging into reports
that Long Island Railroad workers and unethical physicians had siphoned off $1 billion from the railroad’s disability fund since 2000. But when the paper shied away from running the story, the New York Times scooped it. Charges were handed down in the pension scandal last October.

This was the place at which Bob Greene, Jimmy Breslin, Murray Kempton, Gail Collins and Pete Hamill once worked. By 2010, it decided to institute a $5-per-week “pay wall” to drum up digital subscribers. It produced all of 35 takers in its first three weeks.

As the Press pointed out, the “pay wall” cut off its impact with anyone outside Long Island, including nearby New York City and state legislators in Albany.

Up popped an anonymous Facebook called “Debbie CowardlyLion.” Its fans undoubtedly recalled when Newsday won its last Pulitzer, in 1996.

The trendy “hyper local” fad also distracted Newsday, drawing its attention away from more worldly coverage. The paper, with a 2009 circulation of 377,000, was trapped. It wasn’t quite large enough to command national attention but still too big for what some residents called “super loco local” coverage. 

A Newsday PR exec called writers who gave worried accounts to the Press a “small number of disgruntled employees.” But the paper recently convened a rare pow-wow in a large auditorium to discuss it. Cablevision ownership stocked the meeting with cookies and coffee. A good dialogue resulted, all agreed.

In other words, they kicked the can on down the road..."  (Read more? You should.  Click title)

"Unapologetically pursuing and tracking patterns within the news others make since 2010."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Feels like Danforth's feeling some community powers that be pressure.

What, have we become.

Or is the question what are we allowing.