Saturday, March 1, 2008

ABQ Journal: Be Very Afraid

For better or worse,daily newspapers are still powerful. They are in a steep circulation decline no doubt, especially with young demo's
but walk through a Starbucks at 7 AM and see what the buzz is, caffeine in, papers open.

ABQ was among the small number of cities that still had two dailies. Until this week. It was silly really, a throwback to the 40's when
a morning and afternoon edition would update the news. This was kind of before network TV & all news radio, not to mention CNN and  the web.
But the Trib soldiered on, with little ad space and small circ. Until this week.
As for the Journal, (what can be said about a frog named Fred?)  As a journalism major, I am appalled by lack of fact checking, the prevalence of advocacy journalism and
sloppy/lazy reporting that is pretty standard. 

So when the Journal calls for an interview, I have major mixed reactions, I know we must cooperate, but I know some unpleasant things can happen.
When a reporter called this week  about our Homeland Security Series, (  I took a deep breath and gave the interview.
You never know.  Skip wasn't available for quotes, so I was going solo. Shouldn't have allowed the picture- bad lighting.

And one does not know how they are going to play it When I ran into the reporter the next day at a cafe, I got a little shiver when he said, "We're getting a few other opinions."
This could mean many things, we are often used as the token conservative voice for stories, and then the reporter gets all sorts of liberal slants. Oh well.

Some background,  a few years ago, CCABQ was in the middle of a 'mild church crisis' that the Journal blew up to  the front page 12 of 19 days- ugly. Full color, above the fold front page
coverage. You can't pay for that kind of exposure, though I would have paid to prevent it.
So each morning, like Bill Murray in Ground Hogs' day, for three weeks and more, I would trudge to Starbucks at 6 AM and slowly approach the Journal stand, there it would be, an
awful, biased article blasting CCABQ  et al.

So, this Wednesday I was not prepared for full color-front page- above the fold:  BE VERY AFRAID  Calvary Pastor Preaches Peace Can Come From Fear.

But Happy ending, the story was fair- (loose on some facts) and generally positive. Though I was not ready for my close up


Levi Lusko said...

It was a good article. Dont drive angry.

Becca Clay said...

I liked that picture of you. Chip Lusko in action!