Friday, April 28, 2006

I'm Not the Only One

New-to-me blog Freedonian has a rant on Wendi Thomas' return to the Commercial Appeal. Only problem is he's short on examples.

But, as I noted here, it's not terribly surprising the daily was so quick to take her back. She's a familiar person with a familiar style on familiar topics looked at in familiar ways.

It's struck me lately that the CA is in the business of being reassuring, calming and soothing. They don't report, they look at what they have to cover and decide the best way to report it so that the community isn't upset by it. What's the best way to look at Mempis? Excuse me, Greater Memphis? In a positive way! Are there problems, conflicts? Find someone who seems to be portrayable as working on the problems. Add them to the story!

Like I've said before, the CA is trying to stem a tide of circulation loss. They no longer just gather and report news. They certainly don't do investigative reporting. That's not only inherently negative, it is -- worse still -- boring! Folks tune that out. They've got to do the things, cover the bases, that they think will keep the most eyeballs on the printed page.

Given the biggest soapbox in town, what was Wendi's most notable accomplishment with it? She got a local dance troupe into trouble over hairstyles. Whew! Hard hitting stuff that. A real crusader, our Wendi. We almost lit the torches and stormed the barricades that time. Oh, and she also presented the City Council with a pledge to sign. That rocked 'em on their heels!

So, best of luck to 'em with the same old, same old. Just ignore that hammering sound you hear. It's the next nail being driven into the coffin of the CA.

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