Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Misleading readers by using "from staff reports"

Those who have read this blog for the past several months know that one thing that bothers me a great deal is the way newspapers indiscriminately use the term "from staff reports" to cover something that the staff had nothing to do with reporting.
"From staff reports' is the euthemism editors use to keep from saying they accepted something someone else handed to them and put it into the newspaper verbatim or with minor changes or additions.
I have always said, if it is a news release, call it a news release, or say "according to the news release," or something of that nature.
Today, I discovered there is a second use for "from staff reports" and it appears this time the usage is even worse...although it is completely accurate.
For the past several weeks, the Joplin Globe has put its unnecessary product, The Joplin Herald (you remember, the weekly newspaper dedicated to putting Joplin news in because there isn't enough room in the Globe for Joplin news) in the mail each week. I glanced through this week's edition and noticed two things.
One, it appears that the sports writing of Ryan Malashock, a talented young reporter who deserves better than this, will be spotlighted in the newspaper.
Two, one sports article, obviously a feature written by a professional, had no byline except "From staff reports." Unless I miss my guess, this feature, which profiled Joplin High School graduate Brad Secrist's hopes to play baseball at the University of Arkansas, was written by Michael Davison, who was fired last week.
Apparently, the Globe's editors like Davison's work enough to use it, but lack the professionalism to give him credit.


Anonymous said...

The Globe's editors lacking professionalism? No, surely you jest.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't you be slamming Nexstar for buying yet another tv station (Owner of KSNF in Joplin? Or did you get that press release yet? Oooouch!