7 column headlines

When I was growing up, my Dad would cut the top of the NY Times out and put it in a scrapbook every time they had a full-width headline. This meant something really important had happened.

Examples: JFK is killed, Neil Armstrong walks on the moon, Nixon resigns, etc.

Today’s Dayton Daily News: “Dragon’s win 3-2 despite cold.” Not only is that total trivia- it won’t sell very many papers either.

I was at a meeting yesterday of the Dayton Chambers Defense Contractors Committee, and they were discussing having a talk with the paper about the image they give potential new residents about our area. I warned them that they were talking to a bunch of people in an industry that is terrified that they are becoming the buggy whips of the 21st century- and that they would be better putting their own news online using the right technology (like this site).

It’s hard to take the editors seriously when they are publishing a focus group tested, low-brow, ez-reader for an audience that can get the same tripe from TV news. Today they had a picture of a local firefighter who got arrested drunk in a bikini with a wig (wouldn’t have been so bad had he not been male and unattractive).

While encouraging the community to read in the big read- the Dayton Daily News seems to be encouraging those of us who want to know whats going on in the world not to read their paper.

8 US soldiers killed in Iraq may not be good news, but it is real news.  Those 8 deserve the front page more than the 18 men in tights playing a game in the cold.

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10 Responses

  1. Drexel Dave April 6, 2007 / 8:24 am
    Question: Wouldn’t having an informed readership and populace put at risk all of the political power that Doug Franklin and his crew have amassed over time?

    The answer as to why the DDN promotes short bus journalism is pretty obvious.

  2. Greg Hunter April 6, 2007 / 10:35 am
    Dave – Verry Nice!

    Yes the DDN had a choice, maintain journalistic integrity by investigating all things or buy articles from the NYT and dumb them down and publish them. I love going over to my mother’s house and hear the DDN crap come out of her mouth. Great Stuff, but as Tyler Dearden says “How is that working out for you”.

    I was in Elsa’s one night (one night – HA!) and started talking to one of the print press operators for the DDN and he was lamenting the loss of readership due to the internet. Of course I said BULLS__T, the reason the DDN lost readership is that they do not do any investigative stories. He agreed and went on to say that the DDN makes more money publishing the NYT than the DDN.

    I met with Jeff Bruce one time in the hopes that I could talk to him about Dayton as he was from Phoenix. I was trying to find a connection and I said I was traveling to Phoenix and I asked about his favorite restaurant. His reply – PF Changs. A chain, granted it started in PHX, but still I could not believe it, a chain. That was it, moron. I swallowed and went on about Dayton’s issues and he said he loved Dayton, because it was a great place to raise kids. Jeff Bruce lives in Beavercreek- Moron.

  3. Bruce Kettelle April 6, 2007 / 11:19 am
    Greg,

    Not meaning to defend Jeff Bruce but he didn’t say downtown dayton is a great place to raise kids. I know this blog and others rightfully point out the importance of vibrancy in the downtown but when speaking of Dayton in broader terms there is something for evetybody here in the area.

    But I digress, the DDN (imho) is running itself ragged trying to appeal to what it thinks will slow the loss of subscribers. Here in Trotwood for example the number of subscribers I beleive is about 2,000 out of 12,000 households. That’s not a very good saturation rate. Secondly I beleive they put energy into the sections of the paper and distribution zones that produce a profit (attract advertisers).

    In Trotwood we have not had a regular reporter on the beat since the last one was promoted to the daily news desk in January. I can’t help but wonder if the fact there are few Trotwood advertisers affects the lack of speed to fill his/her slot.

    So what comes first, readers or advertisers? Probably a litlle of both but I too noticed the lacking front page this morning. But the guys at the coffee shop seemed to get it talking about how cold it must have been to be in the stands of on the field. You and I may expect a little more but who is the average reader. Is he the guy that is overwhelmed by the daily reports from a battlefield and just wants to be reminded that life in Dayton is somewhat normal?

    It was sure better than the other headlines that could have been there like ‘Snow Cold Cause 67 Morning Accidents’

  4. Bruce Kettelle April 6, 2007 / 11:24 am
    Dave,

    The headline itself wasn’t a 7 column headline, only about 3.

  5. David Esrati April 6, 2007 / 11:31 am

    Bruce, it was 3 and a picture- apparently, we need pictures to understand the words.
    See spot run.

  6. Jeff April 6, 2007 / 5:17 pm
    I’m sort of curious as to what the defense contractors had to say. Is Esrati at liberty to share, or is this close-hold?
  7. David Esrati April 6, 2007 / 5:37 pm

    They wanted a meeting with the editors- etc. at the DDN about how our community is perceived by potential new residents- mostly from the BRAC process. A lot of jobs are being consolidated from places like San Antonio- and while the military people have to come, the civilians don’t. The contractors want our community to seem a bit more enlightened than the typical “police blotter” reporting that the DDN loves to run. You know the ones, about the cross dressing firefighter- or the drunk in Troy (it’s always a drunk in Troy).
    Dayton has a lot going for it- but by reading the DDN- you wouldn’t know.
    Of course, this is the paper that published a record review that they stood by back in 1999: The Daily News published Aug. 20 a review of an album by G. Love and Special Sauce. “Some songs on Philadelphonic … had me checking the band photos to make sure no one in this trio had become black,” the reviewer wrote. He praised “Jimi `Jazz’ Prescott’s phat stand-up bass and G. Love’s harmonica, tasty blues guitar riffs and his increasingly convincing attempts to rap.”
    Read about me walking out of the editorial board interview over it here:http://www.esrati.com/mission/news.htm

  8. Dad April 6, 2007 / 7:16 pm
    Yeah. I still have four scrapbooks full of eight-column headlines in the New York Times.

    There was really a fury of them around the day you were born: the Cuban missile crisis.

    Would you like me to bring them when we next come down to Dayton?

  9. David Esrati April 6, 2007 / 11:23 pm

    Dad- please bring them- I’m so starved for real news, that even old news will do.
    Guess I should change the title to this post.
    But, you are the only one who would know.
    And- thanks for doing those scrapbooks- a journalists gift to his kid.

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