First, let me note the things that Springfield News-Leader Publisher Tom Bookstaver did not say:
-When told about the story of the murder of five people,he did NOT say, "That's negative thinking.. We need to concentrate on all the millions of people who weren't murdered today."
-After reading an article that said newspapers will soon be a thing of the past, Bookstaver did NOT say, "This is good news for our readers. It will strengthen our digital product."
-Bookstaver never said, "You can have your Shakespeare, I'll take my SpongeBob Square Pants."
Bookstaver has earned a reputation recently for trying to twist negative stories into tales of triumph. In a column in today's edition, the News-Leader's Dr. Pangloss explained how the loss of 16 jobs at the newspaper is a good thing:
In Springfield, the News-Leader cut 12 jobs. An additional four vacant positions will remain open.
"We did not reduce our reporting staff and will remain Springfield's No. 1 source for news and information," said News-Leader Publisher Thomas Bookstaver.
"The positions eliminated were primarily in production, accounting and advertising, where the slowdown in advertising has reduced the work, or we are using technology to improve productivity," he said.
Who knew the loss of advertising was a positive for a newspaper?
Another story in today's edition, though it lacked Bookstaver's byline, appeared to have his light touch. Turner Report readers will remember our posts concerning the controversy that occurred when Student Welcome Packs were sent to prospective colllege students in the Springfield area containing condoms and an adverisement for erotica. The News-Leader wrote an article on the Welcome Packs without mentioning the condoms or the advertisement, and without mentioning the newspaper's connection to Student Welcome Pack, Inc.
In fact, the News-Leader included Student Welcome Pack in an advertisement for a "niche audience sales manager."
Missouri State University officials were unhappy that the Student Welcome Packs gave the appearance that they were approved by the university. Today, after MSU threatened a lawsuit, the News-Leader ran an article noting that Student Welcome Pack, Inc., had apologized...with only a single mention of the newspaper's connection to the company, and still making it sound as if it was a shock that university officials were offended.
This has not been a banner day for the Springfield News-Leader. And with the current management at Gannett, I don't see many banner days in the newspaper's future.