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Newspaper: We’re Not the CVB

NewpaperandcoffeeInteresting editorial the other day from a newspaper that might have just felt a tinge of responsibility for attacking a new campaign from its community's Destination Marketing Organization.

The initial slap was unwarranted and made without context (the CEO was out of town and not given the opportunity to respond with the deep background that such a story required). But, such is the world of local "news." It was an easy target for a lazy reporter.

After getting some push-back for its attack (and a generally negative history of its reporting on crime and life in the area), the newspaper spit back an editorial that proclaimed, "We’re not the chamber of commerce or the CVB; we’re the newspaper. Our job is to cover news."

As they say in the South, bless their heart.

But, here's the thing. The CVB's new slogan isn't news. Petty crime downtown isn't news. The shit that most newspapers cover isn't news...because there isn't much news that anyone cares about. So, the media is forced to report on stuff that Joe and Jill Public don't need to know...but are needed to pad their columns to justify advertising space.

I continue to be baffled at how, in an age where the shit that reporters write goes worldwide within 24 hours (oh, yeah...I see all of the DMO stories) that editors and publishers don't have a moment in which they say:

• Advertising revenues are in decline

• We need new businesses to invest in our community

• Our negative coverage of life in this town probably discourages said investment

• Maybe we should paint a more positive picture of our town (for no other reason than it might help our bottom line)

• Oh...and maybe it's the right thing to do for our readers. Rather than scare the hell out of them with sensationalized stories about crime that will never creep into their neighborhoods, maybe we should celebrate life in this town.

Yeah, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us, and the world will be as one.

         

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Bill Geist

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