An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Cavendish notes that clicks on those stories on their site count against the 20 free reads you get before the paywall kicks in.
The readers notice this crap too. Many will remember when their jacked up subscription notice arrives.The Gannett Death Spiral continues...
This is not surprising. They've strip mined the papers of all resources and focused on filling what little newshole there is with free content. It's happening at other Gannett papers too. The Arizona Republic has been running bylined "stories" from ASU PR people for years. Yet they expect our readers to pay for content they won't pay to create.
Down the slippery slope into hell while editors and publishers turn a blind eye and collect their paychecks. They're loathsome, powerless wimps.
We r all headed this route. We already run features written by the PR staffs at our local hospitals and rehab centers. We just take the bylines off. Heck, most of the writers are our former reporters, mainly ones who bailed for better pay, better hours, less stress and less maniacal bosses.
As much as I would like to pile on Gannett for this, I really don't see a problem here. The stories were properly credited to Vandy and, in the judgement of the editors, the information they contained was worthy of the exposure that gave.In this brave new world, they need to be information curators, passing along stuff they see and find from a variety of sources. Meanwhile, this helps reserve staff time and energy to creating truly unique (and more valuable) enterprise content.
12:54 -- So the paper takes advertising dollars from those hospitals in addition to running the verbatim stories written by their information staffs. And that's not a problem . . . how?I'm sure there are good ex-journalists at those hospitals. But they are paid to promote their institutions. Both of the stories in the article reference Vanderbilt research and Vanderbilt programs and nothing else. The problem with being an "information curator" is that you don't know how the information was gathered. And if all newspapers are doing is gathering information in one place, how little will it take for someone to create the technology to make newspapers completely irrelevant? Not much.Gannett papers' response to the need to add more value to their papers is to print stuff readers can already get for free. Regardless of the ethical dilemmas it creates, it is an exceptionally arrogant attitude towards the reader as a customer."We just hiked up your rates. We'll throw in a few press releases to make the paper bigger."
I think the previous poster is quite misguided ...News is supposed to be that, an objective look at what is going on. Public Relations handouts are not news simply because objectivity is lacking
When you farm out topics like that to a local hospital, what if something occurs at the hospital that would cast a negative light on it? How is that dealt with?
I used to be a member of several journalism groups but found they were not worth my money or time. They never speak up about declining standards and are all beholden to companies like Gannett for sponsorships.
The pay walls aren't walls ... Just clear your cookies!
I thought things were bad at my site, but at least we don't run bylined PR pieces by anyone. Thanks for giving me something to feel good about today.
That's just it. The public DOES notice. When the dive began, I got flak all the time from those who knew my employ. But rather than follow through, they just made their disgust known by either stopping advertising if it were a business owner, or letting their subscription lapse if a general reader.On the local site one is just as likely to be afforded verbatim press release by a corporate hack or some other rah-rah as to actually see some good reporting. Nobody save corporate, nobody including staff, likes it. So far, it's 50-50.I knew it was bad then and now it's even more so, the disdain. It's common to overhear people in public being disgusted with the local content, both print and Web.
6:24... clearing cookies... or just use your browser anonymously. This is the measure of the "digital leader." No IDEA how it works, and too ignorant and self-centered to even be embarrassed.
Gingerbread walls - a whole new strategy for holding up the gumdrops and dumb dumbs
6:24 PM wrote: "The pay walls aren't walls ... Just clear your cookies!"Anyone just discovering how content walls work on the internet please stop posting. Do you not understand that all pay walls work this way? The beloved times and wsj paypalls have similar holes as well. If someone is willing to jump through hoops to get your content then that's a good thing. Clearing your cookies clears them everywhere, and is annoying to web users who like to have their preferences stored. Eventually, when the time is right they will make the switch.
whoring is still whoring by any name. Tell me, do the hospitals who get their PR stuff publicized advertise? If you're going to be a whore, you might as well be well paid.
You don't have to clear cookies indiscriminately. You can simply block or accept them selectively by site — which you should be doing anyway if you care about your personal privacy and security.
So, what about all the press releases that we get that make up, oh, 90 percent of the briefs we run and about 60 percent of the inside local stories we publish. Stuff we get from the city, the county, the Kiwanis Club, the schools, universities, hospitals, service organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts? Most of that stuff simply gets either published word-for-word or lightly rewritten. And, let me see, that's been happening since, oh, the 70s at least.If the Vanderbilt release is credited to Vanderbilt, then I'd like to think the reader will understand that a) Vanderbilt wrote it; and b) It only contains information from Vanderbilt.But, sure, if you still have the staff resources to take every release we get (that we think is worthy enough to share with our audience), assign it to a reporter, have them call the institution and replicate all the information contained in it, then call three other institution to see if they are doing the same thing, all so we can fill an inside hole on the fourth page of the Thursday features section, then have at it. If you are doing that, then I assume you are applying the same degree of effort to your People in Business column, the rail of local briefs on Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays, the school notes your education reporter collects, the sports results we are getting from high school and college sports information directors on the away games we didn't cover or the spring sports we can't bear to send someone to cover, the Road Report that tells folks about ongoing road construction issues, the articles we get from the local farm bureau agents about canning your vegetables, and the list could go on and on and on.Most places I worked would simply put "STAFF REPORTS" or "SPECIAL TO THE TIMES" on such releases. So, I really can't ding Nashville for running the same stuff, but clearly IDing the source.
Good God people, are you all Internet newbies? Just use incognito mode in Chrome or private browing in Firefox! (Or InPrivate if you're still using IE). You can view as many stories on Gannett pay sites as you want! Sheesh!
I cover health care for The Tennessean. I have written about hospital bloodstream infection rates, medical mistakes that resulted in patient deaths, patient billing disputes and hospital shorcomings on quality measures. I have also written about hospital achievements and their work to make Nashville a healthier place. At no time has any editor here ever told me not to cover an issue because a hospital advertised or contributed a column. These are the facts.
A common practice at the Tennessean is to put a staff byline on a press release. I see it over and over again. THAT bothers me MUCH more than a contributed story that is identified as such.
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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