TODAY'S PD - SKIMPY ON NEWS; HEAVY ON SPORTS

Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 14:22.

Today’s Plain Dealer is very instructive.

The Metro pages have little news in six pages.
Ironically, the major metro page ad is from bad boy Auditor Frank Russo. It is a listing of delinquent personal property taxes – smaller than usual since the tax is being eliminated. Even so, the Russo ad takes up the entire second page and four inches across Page 6, which is dominated by the weather report, not news.

Then paid obituary notices eat up two full pages and a bit more.
The front Metro page is dominated – not by hard news - but by a sports story out of Avon.
So local news space is really scarce today.
The business pages total six with only a single ad of four columns, 12 inches in length.

But then we go to the sport section. Ten pages! More than any other section.

There is almost no advertising in the 10 pages - only four one inch ads and one inch and a half advertisement. So five and a half inches of advertising supports 10 pages of sports “news.”

Worse, Page one is dominated by a four column, 9-inch photo of the new Browns coach, Eric Mangini. The entire Mangini article is four columns wide by 15 inches deep.

That’s called keeping the community informed. What, of free-loading sports, the narcotic to keep people from thinking too much about the state of their being?
Newspapers are committing suicide by failing to give news.

Two days ago, the PD, in its article on trying to parcel out its property, did cite the number of newsroom employees – 240, down from 372, a 35 percent decline in recent times.

Are they mostly sports reporters?

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Not instructive enough, actually

Roldo, I have noticed the same thing, repeatedly. Sometimes PD sports rates as many pages as the two front sections combined (and still is featured on the front page).

 
If sports is pulling the eyes then why aren't the ads placed in front of them? Maybe advertisers need to be told that folks who are exposed to their ads are the ones who looking for NEWS. This region desperately needs solid reporting if all the problems are to be exposed and corrected so we can move forward. Which means informing the public, not swearing obeisance to the powerful developers and entrenched political structure. Even as the PD is doing some good investigative reporting they have abandoned much local coverage. At the same time, as FreeTimes points out, Sun papers are cutting back on real news.

 Sports has become almost a religion - the opiate of the masses. Safe enough to argue over and with plenty of money involved to make it relevant. Think whoever's field, whatever's arena and whyever-on-the-lake stadium. And what about those who read the sports pages - are they really the shoppers? Somehow I doubt it.

Their arguments do not make sense. Which should make a good reporter want to question their conclusions.

gotta admit, cleveland is a sports town

but the point is well made.  the PD is in total free fall.