(Dear BMG readers, I realize you have your own paper problems. Maybe, you can file this under: It Could Be Worse?)
Crossposted from Lowell Live Feed
Most of you know, I refer to The Sun as “The Blog of Record.” I say this because it mixes what, I think, are First Amendment foundations with an evolving trend in the Digital Era (Link).
For clarity, Wiki defines a chunk of my re-branding:
A newspaper of record is a major newspaper that has a large circulation and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered professional and typically authoritative. A newspaper of record may also be a publicly available newspaper that has been authorized or maintained by a government to publish public or legal notices, and therefore serves as a “newspaper of public record.”
As for “The Blog ..” part, readers of The Sun will get it, especially those that have read it for decades, watching it’s rather abrupt decline since Jim Camapanini took the helm. For those of you who are new to The Sun, or just minimize touching “dead tree” print products, I’ll redirect you to a diary I did in October 2013, A Blogger’s Sin (Link). The short of it is, in my opinion, our local newspaper is in its death throes. Instead of going out with some dignity, they have opted to go kicking and screaming, foregoing principles of journalism, while embracing a modern brand of “Yellow Journalism” that employs a reckless type of “political pornography” to boost circulation.
Under Campi, The Sun has ‘jumped the shark,’ spiraling downward to the level of amateur hobbyists. I don’t mean to disparage bloggers or the effort many put into blogging. The point is, a professional news organization is supposed to have so many more tools at their disposal. They are supposed to render a product that meets the standard of the “Fourth Estate.” This is a function spelled out by our Founders, inscribed in our Constitution.
As the print news industry withers (Link), The Sun has seemingly opted to surrender to the easy road to black ink.
Not long ago, the Blog of Record ran an image that they claimed as their own. (Staff photographers cost money, yo.) Lynne Lupien covered this in a diary titled Sun Stealin’ (Link).
In the diary, Lynne spoke starkly:
… the Lowell Sun has been caught, yet again, stealing photos from people and calling them Sun file photos.
That line must have festered on Dutton Street. Today, we find a snarky response in The Blog of The Blog of Record, some call The Column (Link):
Mercier also said several times she has concerns about the lanes being the width of a “Sherman Tank,” a comment that by the end of the night prompted the creation of a new Twitter feed, @Sherman-Tank3. Mr. Tank3 posted the infamous Associated Press
Michael-Dukakis– in-thetank photo, with Elliott’s face Photoshopped in. (Local bloggers remain silent on Mr. Tank3’s reuse of copyrighted material without permission.) …
You can see @Sherman-Tank3’s handiwork here – (Link)
(“MAYAN ELLIOTT”? What’s that about? At least you know I’m not behind this, I would have not capitalized the “M.”)
Other than giving oxygen to a detractor’s portrayal of mayor Elliott, the Blog of Record opted to brashly blurt out, “Local bloggers remain silent on Mr. Tank3’s reuse of copyrighted material without permission.”
Apparently, the paper’s legal staff is on per diem. And in a fit of “get even,” the brain trust behind the quip couldn’t recognize the inept silliness of their attempt at “gotcha.”
Please take pity on Jim Campanini’s overburdened sense of stewardship. He got a bum deal. Taking the helm of an activist newspaper, especially one as effective as The Sun HAD BEEN, is a daunting task. Maybe, the real blame lies with Mark O’Neil, who has been savagely “swapping out print dollars for digital dimes … ?” Finding a competent Editor must be tough in this flailing business. Has O’Neil or Digital First Media CEO John Payton considered scraping up the talent from Thunderdome (Link)?
Could there be a young Editor chomping at the bit, willing to move to Downtown Lowell and live the dream? We have bike lanes!