South Florida Journalism in 2016: The ever-expanding gulf between what the South Florida press corps offers up and the quality, local-centric news coverage the South Florida public craves, has never been as large as now; Margaret Sullivan gives as good as she gets in her final NY Times Public Editor column that hits out against elite/institutional biasRevised April 21, 2016 at 3:15 p.m.
As most of you longtime readers of Hallandale Beach Blog know well by now -but which you newer readers don't, especially those of you who have only discovered me the past two years via my tweets @hbbtruth- I started this blog in 2007, largely out of a fit of frustration and anger at the self-evident failure and lack of individual/collective effort I saw on a daily basis by the South Florida news media. Specifically, its collective failure to evolve from what it once was -home to nationally-respected who were in some cases some of the best and most-dogged investigative news sleuths in the country.
It's why so many of them eventually wound up at the then-three national U.S. TV networks and the fledgling CNN when that cablenet debuted.
My complaint, summed-up, was that the South Florida's press corps' failed to build upon this track record, and failed to expand its level of news coverage of public policy and local government in ways that readers/viewers clearly wanted to see and rather expected.
The South Florida news media themselves, including the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
If you want to waste an hour, try going thru their newspaper archives and try to find a single story about the subject in the past 20 years.
That's the sort of media area South Florida is.
And the important news stories they broke or gave much-needed historical context to when it really mattered to residents of South Florida, NOT after-the-fact months later in some investigative piece clearly designed to win journalism awards, NOT keep South Florida properly informed.
And that means that getting to the heart of some of the endemic and unique problems of South Florida, much less their possible solutions, are one day farther away than they need to be for our community's long-term sake.
Over the past nine years that I have been writing this blog, a recurring theme here has been the cleavage between what the South Florida news media believes is perfectly acceptable in terms of effort and end product for news consumers, and what the public wants and expects from them.
A graph where X never meets Y.
Even when we use self-evident facts and the news media's own track record as our opening and closing arguments.
But this also means these groups are NOT front-of-mind and front-and-center when it comes to focusing the community's attention on problems the way similar groups are elsewhere in the country.
But at some point, these same groups current unwillingness to point out the problems at hand and suggesting tangible solutions, has to be called out, and I will be doing just that in a future post with some energy and enthusiasm that I know will surprise and anger many with its ferocity and focus.
So be it!
My blog has never been interested in carrying the water for South Florida's elites or well-off.
This is made all the worse by what takes place everyday with the two largest South Florida-based daily newspapers, McClatchy's Miami Herald and the Tribune Company's South Florida Sun-Sentinel, both of whom are and have been going in the wrong direction from readers desires for far too many years.
At the end of her term as the the Reader's Ombudsman, just as was true throughout when she never hesitated to challenge long-established Times icons and the Times' often counter-intuitive ways of thinking about the larger public interest, Margaret Sullivan gives as good as she gets.
As I have remarked here many times in the past with fact-filled blog post and copies of letters to the Miami Herald's management, the Herald never replaced their Ombudsman, Edward Schumacher-Matos, after he left for NPR. And they consciously ignored many of the common sense suggestions he made about journalists.
That includes his April 25, 2010 column, Reporter-columnists tread fine line with readers' trust about the need for journalists to publicly come out to readers as one one thing or the other, i.e. not being both reporter AND columnist, because of the damage that such dual roles can cause to perceived bias and credibility with readers.
The Herald ignored that advice when it came to dealing with both Beth Reinhard and later, Marc Caputo. If you want a copy of that column, just write me and ask for a copy.
It's not been available at the Herald's website for many years.
See also, among many others to choose from:
11/12/10 - A day in the life of McClatchy's Miami Herald, as viewed by a reader who's largely given up on them fixing their problems, or surviving long-term
I hasten to add that this was also during the McClatchy era when the Herald ran a multi-weeks old story about Donald Trump in the "Breaking News" section of the Herald's Broward homepage on Monday December 19th, 2011 at 11:21 p.m.
And there it stayed for days...
Margaret Sullivan's final column from last Friday is a column of pure gold, for it has much that the South Florida press corps could and SHOULD learn from in the way of perceived reporter/editorial/institutional bias, attention to accuracy and willingness to publicly admit mistakes.
I highly commend it to you and ask you to consider sharing it with others you know in South Florida and throughout the Sunshine State who think as I (we) do -that South Florida and the rest of the state would be much better off with a fully-engaged and curious press corps year-round, not the one we have had for years that habitually takes a Summer slumber or vacation come mid-June, never to be seen again until after Labor Day, no matter how important the story.
@Sulliview re Articles celebrating excesses of 1%, i.e. “four-pack” inc. #Miami winter condo - sadly, this attitude INFESTS #SoFL media. :-(— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) April 18, 2016
The Public Editor's Journal - Margaret Sullivan
Five Things I Won’t Miss at The Times — and Seven I Will By Margaret Sullivan
April 15, 2016 10:00 am
April 15, 2016 10:00 am
While preparing to leave the public editor’s office and move to Washington, I’ve been getting together in recent weeks with some people I’ve met while living in New York. One was Ben Smith, the editor in chief of BuzzFeed, who asked me over lunch what columns I planned to do before I left. I tossed it back to him, asking what he would like to read, and he suggested I take up “what I love and what I hate about The New York Times.”
This guy’s definitely got a future as an editor! I decided to tweak his idea, with a nod to Nora Ephron’s list from her book, “I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections.” (Of all the people I wish I had been able to meet in New York, she tops the list.)Read the rest of her great post at: