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Unread 06-01-2009, 08:38 PM
 
140 posts, read 195,479 times
Reputation: 101
Default Chalotte Observer (charlotte.com)

Is it just me or lately this newspaper has become more irrelevant than what it was already? I mean very little substance, poor story choices, annoying reporters (Paid to Party comes to mind, and even the pics selections and timing of them are off IMO).
Today alone the food critic wrote about a DC restaurant with Carolinas roots? Very short review btw, who cares??!! How about some reviews or revisits to some of the many good restaurants around town which can certainly benefit from added good publicity.
And the list goes on and on. Don't even get me started with the sports writers. Terrible!!
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Unread 06-01-2009, 08:58 PM
 
2,519 posts, read 2,005,148 times
Reputation: 1783
They're on their third round of layoffs over there. The newsroom has gone from 250 people to less than 170 in a matter of three years. The cuts weren't really done in the right places (seniority rules, etc.) and a lot of the good young talent left to go back to grad school, law school, checked in their souls and went into pr/corporate communications, or less and less likely in this climate, bigger papers. The corporate parent, McClatchy, is buried in debt from the Knight-Ridder acquisition in 2005, when McClatchy stock was trading between $60-80. It's now a penny stock, closed today at 82 cents.

So now, you have a lot of people holding out for retirement, or that one last buyout opportunity. As for the young people, it's hard to do a great job when you're doing what 2 or 3 people used to do, all the while trying to prepare for a career change in the worst economy in eighty years. Even harder when you can't get overtime approved. Editors probably reluctant to fire incompetent people because they know they won't be allowed to replace them. A warm body is better than nothing...

Decisions like consolidation of copy-editing and features reporting with Raleigh, make the paper less and less relevant. I could go on and on...

This is happening to newspapers all over the country, and it's very sad. Say what you will, but the local newspaper is the only source for true investigative journalism on the community level. You can argue about blogs or yahoo, tv, etc., but honestly, the majority of their news is not original -- it comes from newspaper reporters. There would be no TV news without newspaper reporting and blogs would have a lot less to say. The Observer should redirect it's resources to more investigative reporting on the community than these far-flung pieces. How can you justify having a food writer when you've lost 30% of your staff???

Last edited by coped; 06-01-2009 at 09:41 PM..
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Unread 06-01-2009, 10:00 PM
 
8,896 posts, read 4,260,042 times
Reputation: 6284
McClatchy owns the Rock Hill, Fort Mill and Lake Wylie newspapers. The Rock Hill facility closed down their presses a few weeks ago and all the printing is now done in Charlotte at the Observer. This caused a big lay-off and those employees that remained had to take a huge pay-cut.

Tom Sorensen a sports columnist at the Observer for over 20 years has been out for several months. He has cancer and is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy now. He has covered every sport in the Carolinas. I always enjoyed his column ... I didn't always agree with him but he knows area sports.

It won't be long until newspapers completely disappear and our grandchildren will ask ... 'what was a newspaper?'
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Unread 06-02-2009, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
2,447 posts, read 4,313,953 times
Reputation: 1352
I have noticed that the stories aren't as current as they used to be. They seem to be reporting news from somewhere else so by the time it is posted the story is old. For example this morning there is this headline Taliban ambush convoy, abduct students in Pakistan (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/world/story/757815.html - broken link) despite the fact that Dozens of Pakistani Cadets Are Rescued.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 04:55 AM
 
1,260 posts, read 974,206 times
Reputation: 1072
The paper is all crap.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
7,042 posts, read 7,956,095 times
Reputation: 2206
I always read the Observer in conjunction with CNN, the NY Times, Chicago Sun Times, the Financial Times, the BBC and also the articles in Google News. That way, there is not as much bias. I agree that there is not much substance in the Observer, however, had to write a paper recently and use the Observer as the source of my topic. That was not easy!
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Unread 06-02-2009, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Autumn Cove, Lake Wylie, SC
393 posts, read 665,146 times
Reputation: 277
The Observer is totally biased. I wouldn't buy it to even let my dog crap on it...
Lay offs...good! Produce crap and pay the price.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 06:14 AM
 
534 posts, read 854,257 times
Reputation: 302
1st of all, how come only people on the "right" think it's biased? The editorial page may be - but how do you bias a story "Airbus disappears" - by changing it to "airbbus disappears, it's cheney's fault!"?
--
Foxnews, biased - MSNBC, biased - CNN, irrelevent because they never chose a side - but a newspaper...an actual newspaper??? cmon...
--
That being said, the Observer is garbage...nothing ever relevant in there and 4 pages for sports is redonkulous..
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Unread 06-02-2009, 06:22 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
6,765 posts, read 6,892,715 times
Reputation: 6268
Quote:
Originally Posted by thestem View Post
1st of all, how come only people on the "right" think it's biased? The editorial page may be - but how do you bias a story "Airbus disappears" - by changing it to "airbbus disappears, it's cheney's fault!"?
--
Foxnews, biased - MSNBC, biased - CNN, irrelevent because they never chose a side - but a newspaper...an actual newspaper??? cmon...
--
That being said, the Observer is garbage...nothing ever relevant in there and 4 pages for sports is redonkulous..
Huh? Because they ARE! Nearly all media outlets are owned by Liberal Lefties and report as such.

Obv a story that isn't political isn't going to have a political slant, but look at the candidates these papers back come election time and read the political stories.

Best paper is Wall Street Journal, hands down

I agree that the Observer sux btw. LOL.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
34,065 posts, read 38,244,642 times
Reputation: 17007
COPED summed it up beautifully. I fear CAROLINAWOMAN also mentioned something worth noting - the longevity of newspapers. I think the problem is rooted in newspapers having become conglomerates - and no longer owned at the grassroots level. Having worked for a small local newspaper, I believe that is how you keep the news and investigative reporting relevant. However, those advertising dollars are drying up . . . it is a problem. I have great hopes that entrepreneurs will see this void as an opportunity and re-work the model of existing newspapers . . . creating vehicles for the printed word that are more cost effective. Believe me, I have given it much thought as I have said since my 20s that the most satisfying job I could have is owning my own publication. So I am sure there are others out there who are contemplating this.

There are talented writers out there . . . they just need a vehicle that can also PAY them. We can all blog to our hearts content, but there is something special about the collaboration of staff and editors . . . and the collegiality/tension that occurs when people are working together on a publication at deadline - hard to duplicate on a solo venture such as a blog. Making that blog PAY off is a challenge, as well.

We need a local paper. Sadly, the Charlotte Observer is no longer the Pulitzer Prize winning publication it was 20 years ago. But then - very few are!
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