Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Lindsborg News Record

Yesterday's LNR included an egregious slam on the College's press office, and a nostalgic hyllning of the college's two former press officers.

The slam, in Marty Hardy's gossip column, was egregious because it was based on ignorance. Marty defended the paper's lack of coverage of President Leonard's arrival at the college. The college was responsible for the lack of coverage, Hardy maintained, because the college hadn't gotten news of the new president to the local paper of record until the Monday prior to the event. Why, back in the old days, when the college was really linked into the town, this wouldn't have happened. And, Hardy further implied, the new President should get rid of the dunderheads who failed to let the Lindsborg News Record know of this event in time to meet the paper's schedule.

What's egregious about this slam is the ignorance. There's no indication that Hardy even attempted to do what an actual reporter does - check facts before writing the story.

If the announcement of the new President was embargoed until Monday by the Board and the President, for example, then the press office is not responsible for the timing of the story. If the press officer was simply swamped by other demands, then the late announcement, while still the college press office's responsibility, is at least understandable.

And what happened to reporting on the event? What prevents the newspaper, which surely knew an announcement was imminent, from doing the job reporters have always done and going to get the story rather than waiting for the press release?

With the rise of citizen journalism, and the Lindsborg News Record's policy of only printing the news that's paid for, the LNR runs the danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant to the younger generation - people who get more of their news from the web and less of their news from print.

3 comments:

TSLegends said...

I'm not defending whether the News Record did a good or bad job covering the event in question, but the author here needs to realize what running a small weekly paper entails.
As an editor of a small rural paper, I know it is more than just sitting down and slamming your opinions on the internet like bloggers have the freedom to do. It requires much more, from ad layout work, selling ads, gathering news, sports, legal publications, birth, and various announcements, and the list goes on and on. And on.
Newspapers are struggling with fewer advertising dollars, (which is what pays for 90 percent of your local paper,) reduced staff and apathy of the public in providing info to the local paper.
Maybe instead of being counter productive the author of this piece should work with the paper instead of against it. Much of what fills my pages is contributed by freelance writers and photographers in my community covering the smaller events so I can pay attention to the larger ones.
It is easy to find fault, but not so easy to work for improvements.

Mel Alexander said...

I was reading the editors comments about republicans, hicks, the fact that the people of Kansas both democrats and republicans are fed up with using tax dollars to support the arts council, PBS and other programs that the FOOFOO columinist feels should get free rides at the taxpayers expence. Well Mr FOFO Longnose editor, guess what, there are some in comminity that are getting fed up with the Lindsborg attitude! You have chased FFA and votech out of our high school, you shove Sweden down our throats, you go out of your way to chase any company that shows an intrest in the town for a place to relocate.

Our children have either the choice to buckle to the Longnose mentality and pressure of the liberal church, college, school system, or they leave the community for greener pastures both as teenagers growing up, and after they graduate from high school because there is nothing here for them. Well I for one am proud to be a hick, proud to have an agricultural background, proud to work in agriculture, and am proud that my children are well on the way to making lives for themselves that show lots of promise, and have a wonderful work ethic in spite of attempts of the local community of Longnoses attempt at molding them into younger versions of themselves. I for one if my wife will allow it (yes she lets me think I wear the pants in the family) intend to cancel our subscripton to your little rag paper in a couple in of months. In the meantime I will be watching to see how many of the local establishments continue to advertise in your paper. Hopefully I will see your advertising dry up and then hopefully your snotty longnose little newspaper. Of course I will boycott any business in Lindsborg that continues to advertise in your paper. I know that most in will say good ridence but what the hay you probably can't stand to handle the few hick dollars I have available to spend in your high snob hill town. Therefore I will gladly take the few little greenbacks I earn each month to McPherson, Marquette, and Salina were people show a little sign of being glad to get them and glad we came.

PS: I sure would like to see this printed in next weeks paper but since I'm not college educated, have a hick job that is related to agriculture, and don't bow down to every local tradition I'm sure it won't happen.

Kalle Lilla said...

Let's see. Mel, your comment is on a post four years old and so far as I can tell isn't actually related to the original blog post.

Clearly you're angry about many things, many of the things that make Lindsborg a great place to live and encourage people to come and visit - because it is an unusual community that has managed to keep its ethnic roots alive - and an artistic community that continues to generate new art, some with the help of the arts commission.

You're against Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, and actual news, that's clear.

You accuse someone, I'm not sure who, of chasing "any company that shows an interest" out of town. You accuse the churches of being liberal - which demonstrates that you understand neither theology nor how to count.

Working in agriculture does not, in and of itself, make you a hick. Not thinking, on the other hand, does not qualify you as a hick, merely as an opinionated ignoramus.