Saturday, November 27, 2010

Globe reporters disappointed with lack of hard news after redesign

Last month, the Joplin Globe unveiled its highly touted new design and while Globe reporters had no major problems with the look of the new product, its fluff content irritated those who would like to see the newspaper investing its news dollar in something considerably more substantial.

"It was pretty," a veteran reporter told The Turner Report, "but there was not one solid hard news story in that first issue and that was the one that was supposed to set the tone for the new Globe."

The entire page one was filled with feature stories while another highly publicized area of the newspaper, the opinion section, seemed to be a hodgepodge of ideas that have not been successful at other newspapers, such as:

-Artificially choosing an issue for the cover page of the section and then finding someone to take one side and someone to take the other. It's a simplistic approach that forces writers into corners and prevents any nuanced exploration of issues.

-A continued use of local writers commenting on national issues. Nothing wrong with that, but the Globe's stable of bloggers and writers has pretty much stuck to whatever the talking points are on the cable news channels, to the point where local news issues have been largely marginalized.

Subsequent Sunday editions have included more hard news, though not by much, but the first impression, the one that is so important, came from that first Sunday.

Fluff is in at the Joplin Globe.

And that has Globe reporters, many of whom are still steamed about decisions that have been made to steer clear of some hard news stories that might offend the Chamber of Commerce, frustrated and angry about the direction their newspaper is taking.

-

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Globe has almost completely substituted appearance for substance. That is a losing formula - for the paper and especially the community.

Anonymous said...

It's still a mystery why the Globe abruptly ended its pursuit of the shenanigans going on at MSSU last spring. Greg Grissolano was all over that ongoing saga, and then the Globe suddenly pulled him from the education beat and demoted him to Newton and McDonald counties. And then came that strange revelation that the Globe's publisher was in cahoots with the MSSU president. Strange indeed.

Anonymous said...

I personally liked it when there was more substance and less flash.

Anonymous said...

I'm just really disgusted by this whole deal.

Another disgusted reader said...

The situation has left a gaping hole in the news coverage, and one that will no doubt be covered elsewhere. People demand news. When they don't get it one place, they go to another. A newspaper is not supposed to set the tone for public discussion. It is supposed to reflect the public discussion, and report accurately on that. Let's hope a phoenix rises from the ashes and the Globe becomes as marginalized as its news as become. Already The Chart has proven itself more accurate and hard hitting than the Globe. Maybe it should consider becoming even more so. Of course, that would mean certain death for The Chart and its "handlers." Unfortunately, Joplin is run by a group of men who think they are dictators.

Trent said...

The Globe not only suffers from a lack of substance, but also from a lack of editing skill. From the first Sunday it was apparent that stories were getting placed that had not been edited. Things such as simple punctuation and spelling to more egregious errors such as not being consistent with details through the story. I thought maybe this was a one-time problem chalked up to hyping the new layout, but when it continued into this last week I knew it was more than that. I am a long time reader of the Globe and have enjoyed it, but am finding it less than adequate now days when it comes to keeping informed. If I wanted to be entertained, I would buy an issue of People.

Anonymous said...

Trent,

The Globester is hiring MSSU graduates. Doesn't that explain a lot of the problem?

Anonymous said...

Journalism unsubstantial? OMG!

Art Morris said...

I've been complaining about the demise of hard news for years. The Joplin Globe was just the latest example of what's been happening nationwide for several years.

Whatever happened to the mantra "if it bleeds, it leads"?

Anonymous said...

The answer is really very simple. Leadership.

The Globe mirrors the attitude and apptitude of Michael Beatty and Carol Stark, the leaders.

They are the people in charge and everyone else simply follows.

Beatty's assignment to Joplin after The Baltimore Examiner was like being sent to Siberia. His attitude reflects it if you've been around him.

Stark? Someone please remind me why she was named Editor of the Globe? It certainly wasn't because she is a news person.

Anonymous said...

The Globe has taken a back seat to both The Turner Report and The Chart in terms of investigative reporting. That is particularly astonishing considering the advantages it has over the others regarding resources and number of employees. Ironically, the management decision that ruffling feathers is bad for business may very well be the thing that lead to The Globe's demise.

Ed said...

I find the new type font hard to read. I don't like the Globe for several other reasons too, like giving credit to Ron Richard for my original idea to move city hall to the Newman building. Since the idea was published in the Globe over my signature in the letters to the editor section, the Globe should have at least known something about what has appeared in its own pages. And yes, news is hard to find in the Globe.

I've witnessed many local events and happenings in person and then read about it in the Globe later, only to marvel at how the writer and I apparently were present at different events, hearing entirely different things being said, and entirely different things being seen.

I would have rather written something positive. But it isn't easy these days to come up with something. ...Oh, there are lots of ads, but not many classifieds any more. They lost on that one badly to CL. People apparently prefer immediate free classified ads than to pay for them. Who would have guessed?

--Edward Duff

Anonymous said...

8:06 AM is correct. The noise makers at MSSU are so busy complaining that they forgot to teach basics (especially in journalism). Unfortunately, these are the people filling journalism jobs around here. They, for the most part, were born here, went to high school here, attend MSSU and then go to work here. They don't have a clue about the world and how it relates to people. Randy Turner is a perfect example...never been anywhere, never lived any other place, never serves in the military, never studied away from home. He makes his way by trashing everyone.

Anonymous said...

Edward Duff,

Ron Richard has not had and original thought (or neck) for all of his adult life. I mean the guy grew up in a bowling alley.

Having any legislative power rest in his hands is a mistake.

When you are around him, it is easy to understand that his arrogance is a cover for his lack of substance.

The never been anywhere, never done anything that clearly describes _______________ (fill in the blank) very easily is applied to the newly-elected Senator.

Anonymous said...

boy Mr. Duff = Do you not like just Ron Richard or is all people who get out and get things done....pull themselves up to another level..I quite admire that.

Anonymous said...

You can take the boy out of the bowling alley, you just don't want to send that boy to the Capitol.

Anonymous said...

i agree with 1;44. I like to think i have pulled myself up a bit economically, socially, educationally. I thought it was every generations wish that the kids would try to achieve everything they could. I think my parents would be proud and happy with my progress and I in turn am glad my children have better jobs, more education and are happy with their lives. Some people, perhaps, don't like those who strive to do better because they themselves failed to progress...just plain ordinary jealousy. It's great that a small business man can serve the the state capitol. He has a right to his opinion and you can vote against him if you like...you may not vote him out if he pleases enough people to win.