Dayton Day-Old News launches new iPad app. #FAIL

The Dayton Daily News- or Day-Old news as I prefer to call it, launched a new iPad app (epaper)  this week. Gone is the sidebar when you launch it with more recent news.

All it provides is a new way to look at the print edition- with more ads. Now when you click into the article to read a version that can be enlarged type- you get ads, something you didn’t get before.

The ads aren’t as obtrusive as the NY Times app- but, they don’t load as fast, so many times I’m off the page before they actually load. The actual print advertisers aren’t getting anything extra out of this delivery vehicle – and that’s too bad, they deserve more.

And, now, if you email a story- the headline isn’t placed in the subject line as it used to be.

screen shot from new Dayton Daily News ePaper app

The much improved section navigator- note time on top of page

The section navigator is more visual- it’s come in very handy because the app quits, and you have to navigate back to where you were. And, the Thursday edition still comes with their crazy repeating zoned “neighbors section” with bizarre divisions of their community (I can never figure quite out where I’m supposed to be- South Dayton or…).

The best two things about the app- is it loads a lot quicker than the old one, and they’ve included the time at the top of the app- something I love about the NYTimes app- which is the gold standard at this point in news apps that I’ve used (BTW- the NY Times runs the entire news ecosystem on WordPress- the same app we use to publish, and the one I teach how to use monthly in our seminar.).

Still missing from the DDN app- any kind of commenting or community (of course their online commenting is absolutely a wasteland- and confused because they publish multiple versions of almost everything.) and, any kind of built in saving of stories like the NYTimes app.

With nothing in real time- it’s not really a news app anyway. Their early print deadline of 3pm each day- means the sports section is worthless, and any news from evening community meetings will come out a day later.

Screenshot of battery use by Dayton Daily News epaper app with batery drain

This was after I shut the app down this morning- after seeing 60% useage.

However, the one big fail is the battery drain. Since installing it, my iPad reports that it’s using as much as 60% or more of the battery life in the last 24 hours- totally unacceptable (screen shot has it at 47%- since I shut the app down right after I saw that this morning.)

Maybe it’s time that Cox actually hire someone who knows how to publish news in a timely manner online efficiently…. you wouldn’t know anyone local who does that?

Just for the record, I posted last Saturday, March 3rd, that DPS Athletic Director Mark Baker and Dunbar Principal Crystal Phillips had been put on administrative leave. They got the story, a week later, today. Maybe I should call them the Dayton Week-Old News.

The Dayton Day-old News

Annotated Dayton Daily news showing bad news was the norm then and now

Front page of the Dayton Daily News on September 22, 1933 during the John Dillinger arrest- and still a bad newspaper

I stopped getting home delivery of the Dayton Daily News years ago because the paper couldn’t be on my doorstep at 6am everyday. I’m a morning person, and the ritual of getting up, reading the paper and moving on is important.

The iPad edition sucks. It gives a visual representation of a printed paper, and you can tap on an article and get it in a readable, scroll-able format. You can increase type size, and you can share (although limited). There is zero interaction with the paper or other readers through this edition. The app crashes, takes forever to load, has quirks like posting a grey box over the info on what stations and times an NFL game is, and if you switch apps- you are again waiting for the slow load.

It’s digital newspaper only the way a non-digital person would think of delivering it- still. In 2017.

But, now since the Cox sisters shut down the Franklin Print Technology center- the print edition has a deadline of 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm- depending on who you ask. It doesn’t matter. A “morning daily” that has a deadline much before 11pm is not a morning daily. Today’s paper didn’t have the Trotwood HS state championship score- or recap- just an article about the upcoming game. For the record- Trotwood beat Dresden Tri-Valley 27-19.

And they wonder why no one subscribes?

Of course, because they don’t understand digital in the least, they’ve done stupid things galore.

The most annoying is having all their “reporters” have Facebook presence and try to create clickbait stories, do polls, and “engage” with Facebook audiences. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve seen them “find” on Facebook- and make it into the paper days later. Trolling facebook for news has to be the most pathetic thing ever done by a true journalist.

Unfortunately, in order for Democracy to work the way our founding fathers envisioned it a vibrant, thriving fourth estate is mandatory. Without the checking of their actions, we’re doomed to the kind of insanity that’s been going on in DPS, Dayton City Hall, the state house and the jail.

As the Dayton Day-old news continues to focus on shootings, car accidents, and running stories off the wire, there is less reason for an educated population to read it. They can all get the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal or New York Times delivered on the same device for about the same money and get real reporting with real news- albeit, not local.

It’s said that the advent of CraigsList- free classifieds, that sucked revenue out of the newspaper was the first major blow, but it’s a lot more complicated than just a loss of easy ad revenue. Newspapers didn’t understand how to communicate in a web 2.0 world to save their ink wells. The saying “Never argue with anyone who buys ink by the barrel” was so ingrained in their old school heads that they thought the only “discussion” was limited to “Letters to the editor” and an occasional guest column on the “Op-Ed Page”- that’s short for Opposite Editorial Page- which is funny, because the Dayton Day-old news did away with the Editorial page (local) long ago. No longer are “impartial” observers of the community trusted to define the local issues of the day in their world- we’ll try to “curate” the best and brightest of national writers, with an occasional local group spew guided conversation of people we deem as friends of our family (or whatever.) In the meantime- the rest of the world has thrived on legitimate discussion and conversation. Ever seen Reddit? 4Chan? Or Facebook? It’s full of conversations, by amateurs, on current events and interest. Where’s the 2 way channel on the Dayton Daily? It’s on Facebook- a property they don’t own, that they don’t get real revenue from, and where they aren’t in control. What kind of business model is that? A doomed on.

Cox has recently sold off good papers in other markets where they don’t have joint media properties- like a newspaper plus TV plus radio. This kind of operation used to be illegal- but Cox was grandfathered in in Dayton and Atlanta. Yet, here, the “integrated newsroom” is just as badly run as a single newsroom because their answer to the digital Armageddon has been to create more bad sites instead of on focusing on one good one- and then building a community.

No one other than them sees local news any differently on a digital screen from WHIO TV, WHIO Radio, Dayton Daily- etc. You don’t need 10 bad sites- you need one good one.

You don’t deliver news via “channels” you deliver it to people on screens of all kinds. And frankly, instead of printing your paper in Indy- you’d have saved money by giving the few remaining print subscribers a tablet with cellular connectivity and delivered the paper with a constant news stream that can be customized to their preferences- but, nooooo, you don’t get it.

You didn’t build a community, you destroyed it. You didn’t build a database of customers to deliver targeted ads, you let someone else do it, you didn’t invest in the best possible content producers with a deep understanding of local issues- you hired kids out of school and asked for click bait. You didn’t integrate production in a way that works – you kept following the same old “if it bleeds it leads” news style which isn’t really that interesting unless it’s at least 5 people bleeding (mass shootings have raised the bar on sensitivity).

I’ve offered before to help the Cox sisters put their inheritance back on the track to greatness in the era that they haven’t yet figured out, and I’m still willing to help them out- even though they still have enough money to actually benefit from the new tax plan (guaranteeing that if they just sold all this off- they’d still be rich beyond need and not be bothered with the rigors of pretend journalism). But, it’ll never happen.

You see, fake news is actually real news now, and day old fake news works just as well- just click here to see what Barbara Cox was doing when she got caught on film just before she died….


Dayton Daily “news” is still an establishment tool

There is a reason the three county commissioners asked for the Department of Justice to investigate the County Jail for civil rights violations, but you won’t see it in the Dayton Daily or “The Leader” Channel 7.

While 22/45 had no problem running my video– complete with the link on screen, the Cox papers are pretending the pepper spraying of a restrained inmate revealed on this blog at 7pm on Thursday night had nothing to do with it. In fact- it didn’t happen, won’t happen, until attorney Doug Brannon will file a lawsuit this week on behalf of Charles Alexander Wade.

Channel 2 purposefully did not mention or inform the public of the latest evidence that prompted the commissioners actions, going back to a lawyer for the case of Emily Evans- which is several years old.

They did list 7 other lawsuits/settlements in progress at the jail. And, they took credit for the story they stole and didn’t credit from my blog:

An I-Team analysis of jail housing data found that the majority of female inmates are white and most reside in larger dorm-style housing while the black female population was mostly housed in smaller, more crowded “rollover” cells.

Source: Civil rights probe into jail requested

In the county commissioners press conference two people specifically asked about the pepper spraying of Wade shown in my video, yet the paper cites their work as the reason for this new development:

The I-Team reported in November that one of those cases led to an ongoing federal probe into the pepper spraying of an inmate while she was in a restraint chair, and the disappearance of video and other records of the incident from the sheriff’s office. Dayton police say an investigation into whether the incident was a criminal assault is also ongoing.

Most recently, a homeless veteran sued the jail alleging he was beaten so badly by corrections officers that he was left permanently disabled and wheelchair bound.

The fact that the County Commission isn’t calling to close the jail, because it is unsafe, or asking for guarantees of safety for citizens in the jail, is a gross abdication of their responsibilities to the public. They fund the operation of this house of torture, danger and death. That it took 5 days to act is an indication of how unfit they, and every other political leader is in Dayton.

If any municipality allows their citizens to be locked up in Plummer’s Palace of Peril after reviewing the list of lawsuits, the video evidence of abuse of power in the torture of Mr. Wade, they should know that they are also at risk of being sued.

It’s time for the police chiefs of Montgomery County to meet and devise a safer way to detain and hold their citizens than allow them to risk life and limb in the county clink.

Options include sending inmates to other counties, calling for a private contractor to take over the jail, putting more people on home monitoring, setting up an improvised jail using part of the old Dayton Workhouse, or taking over the jail as a group.

Plummer is supposed to make a statement today. Anything less than his resignation, after he has  removed every supervisor in the jail is unacceptable.

As to the local news, you can get it here, or late from channels 22/45 or not at all from 2, 7 and the “Dayton Daily/when we can take credit for it/ news.”

I have more groundbreaking stories in the works, but this all comes at a personal cost. If you’d like to make sure I can keep dedicating time and resources to making sure the stories that need to be exposed get published, please consider donating to Thank you

In the mean time, if you a subscriber to the Dayton Daily, take the time to pen a note to their “editor” Jana Collier and ask why they continue to not credit this site, or report news that is public knowledge thanks to

How else can we have checks and balances on the local politicians when the “press” is in their pockets?


When the newspaper of public record- isn’t

Screen shot of public records notices in Dayton Daily News

These are expensive ads.

Years back, A.J. Wagner looked at the amount of money the County was spending on required publication of public documents- court dockets, bid notices, sheriffs sales etc. and wondered if he couldn’t save money by buying ads in the freely distributed Dayton City Paper.

The local “newspaper” run by the billionaire Cox sisters cried foul. Apparently, the newsprint they print on is somehow more informative, more legal, regal and deserving of that public money.

They went to court. They won. The ads and the taxpayer money, went back to subsidizing our poor excuse for a paper.

This is something that could easily be replaced by a simple county wide website for public notices, that would cost less to run than what they spend in a day of the small print classified ads in the Dayton Daily.

Why am I railing about this today?

It’s been 4 weeks since my father, Stephen G. Esrati passed from this planet, and so far, not a mention of his demise in the death notices. He lived in Montgomery County, he died in Montgomery County at the Dayton VA hospice, and his body was sent to Greene County- to the Wright State School of Medicine. Not a word in the death notices, unless I really missed something. I picked up the death certificate over 3 weeks ago from the Reibold building. It’s on record.

Just not in our newspaper of record.

It’s time to save some money and stop pretending that the Dayton Daily news is doing us some kind of public service by publishing the page after page of legal notices. I’ve seen some days where the Sheriff’s sale pages take up more space than the Sunday Real Estate section. Why again are we paying for this?

For around $1500 a week, I could have a website that is searchable- with all the listings of public records, and print a 1000 booklets with the same info for those who want a printed copy. The Dayton Daily is probably taking in over $2500 a day on this.

Newspaper of record? Not in my book.

Did your Dayton Daily news seem a little less significant this morning?

The Dayton Daily news and Cox Media eliminated 7 people yesterday.

Some, were out on assignment, when the big boss notified the staff who got the axe.

When it’s your time to go, it’s “Hhello, you’re fired, give us your ID and keys and we’ll escort you out. We’ll go through your desk- and mail you anything that we think is yours.”

A few of the people heading out the door, were retirements. But, others were long-time employees, with skills and institutional knowledge. Something that isn’t valued in the puzzle palace on S. Main St.

Here’s a copy of the email that went out:

From: Collier, Jana (CMG-Dayton)
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 4:00 PM
Subject: staffing announcement

Staff –

Today we met with seven employees whose jobs are being eliminated as part of our newsroom downsizing. Each of these journalists has contributed to the success of our company and our brands, and I want to thank and honor each one of them for their work and service.

  • Photographer Jim Witmer
  • Reporter Kelli Wynn
  • Reporter Ken McCall
  • Reporter Dave Larsen
  • Manager Rashida Rawls
  • Manager Ken Paxson
  • Manager Kermit Rowe

Today is their last day in the office. The manager for each impacted team has created a transition plan to ensure continuity for our products and audience.

As we continue to evolve our business, I want to make sure you have the clarity you need to focus on what’s most important, to grow and engage our audience. I am working with the content leadership team to shape and focus our teams to create that clarity; to streamline our processes; and to ensure a strong digital future for each of our brands.

These efforts will require 100 percent from everyone. I need your imagination and dedication as we move forward. We’ll have staff meetings in the next two weeks to present plans and to get your input. In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to your manager, your director or me with specific questions or concerns. Our brands are strong, and the work you do every day is vital to the success of this company and to this community.

Thank you,


Missing from this list is Meredith Moss who retired- and supposedly Ken McCall, who is on the list- got a full pension. Not so lucky for the rest.

Rumor has it that one TV person was concerned with her personal safety- in case there are angry reprisals.

Gotta love the corporate buzzword bullshit- of “content leadership team”- which must mean “people who troll the internet to find things to publish to create page views” and the “strong digital future” where people actually view our shitty ads on our shitty sites.

When you have people who don’t understand news, journalism, or the city of Dayton- you get what they have, a “newspaper in name only.”

Now, it has 8 less names for bylines on an already thin news hole.

Thank Al Gore for the Internet- and Steve Jobs for the iPad -so I can still read a real newspaper everyday- the New York Times.

Best wishes to those jettisoned. May your careers all take off now that you don’t work for the evil empire.