Manipulating the print media
‘Political Journalism Sucks’ stated a recent headline in the Toronto Star addressing the issue of churnalism, – the practice of publicists revealing a story just before a newspaper deadline. The result often there is no time to question the content so the reporter is forced to do a fast rewrite of the handout in order to meet the deadline.
In some circles, that is described as managing the news. Does it happen in Guelph?
You betcha! The city’s squad of communications staff uses this tactic frequently. The result, in the case of the Mercury that has firm deadlines for copy, is a lot of city administration generated puffery gets into the paper. The worst offender is the weekly Tribune that is the chief cheerleader for the Farbridge Administration.
The city of Guelph is probably the Tribs largest advertising client spending more than $500,000 a year.
Is it no wonder that Internet blogs are filling the vacuum of hard news and are increasingly performing the job of newspapers on questioning the city’s management of the community?
Two columns racing to the bottom of the barrel
Two Mercury columnists caught Media Watch’s eye recently. Farbridge troll, Brian Holstein, chastises Coun. Cam Guthrie for continuing to hold council and committee meetings in August to do the city’s business. He accused the councillor of “grandstanding” and “grabbing the headlines.” The Farbridge voting bloc killed that suggestion. Brian, this is 2012, not 1912.
On the other side of the political spectrum is Matt Bondy who extols the virtues of the new Republicanism in the U.S. He sees vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan as “substantive, temperamentally moderate.” As chairman of the House of Representatives Finance committee, Ryan presented a budget that would cut Medicare, Medicaid, criminalize abortion, kill Planned Parenthood and privatize Social Security. He would also revoke the Affordable Healthcare Act and increase defense spending. Yeah, he’s the right Romney choice all right. Matt, where were you five years ago when the Bush Republicans almost buried the world with their crazy economic policies?
Is Mitt Romney Bush II?
Mangling communications at City Hall
The recent scoop of the Mercury’s Scott Tracy regarding the five-week campaign to clean up the downtown bar scene, was tut-tutted by a Tribune columnist. It is a typical case of how the media is not the message. One sometimes wonders, when the Farbridge administration is so controlling of the news emanating from City Hall, how this major announcement was so mangled by the communications department. Guess this can be an unintended rationalized of the decision not to hold council or committee meetings during August.
This was no spaghetti western
The hilarious and bizarre spectacle of Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair preceeding Willard Mitt Romney’s scene-setting speech at the Republican National Convention, took on a life of its own in Twitterland. If the Democrats needed a break from the GOP rhetoric to restore America’s values ad nauseam, Dirty Harry delivered. Talking to an empty chair, hmmm, it has promise in Guelph.
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