Monday, October 03, 2011

The "Good Story" Standard At The AJC

According the ajcatlantanews twitter feed, I should check out a "good story" from Atlanta Progressive News "editor" Matthew Cardinale. So I did. And I have to admit there's some good reporting in there about Atlanta Housing Authority chair Renee Glover's impending departure. Not surprisingly, having read Cardinale over the years, the "good story" stuff amounts to what Matthew actually witnessed.

To find it, you have to read through a wash of unsourced innuendo such as:
Mayor Kasim Reed--who one source told APN is estranged from Franklin--is also not a fan of Glover.
Then, late last week, another source--a Buckhead source--also said they were expecting Glover to resign within the next few days.
A Buckhead source! Well that must make it credible!

But even if you can look past the bizarre writing (Buckhead!) and the side swipes based on the unverified, does someone who in the past has said he wouldn't bother allowing the other side to give their point of view realy merit a "good story" atta boy?

And I don't know if the fact that he doesn't care is worse than he admits to being lazy..
Cardinale in response to his sloppy reporting on Kasim Reed in 2009, "I've been doing this (APN) now for 4 years and usually have a good idea of when a PR department is going to respond, and when they aren't. So, I just didn't want to waste my time, nor my readers' time"
 It takes about five seconds to discover just how much Cardinale respects journalism.

Once upon a time that attitude would have resulted in a shunning. Now, it gets a hearty pat on the back.

ADDENDUM: Just seconds after I publish, Creative Loafing's Thomas Wheatley publishes a story that indicates Reed may have pushed Glover out. Well, of course that makes a difference right? Absolutely. The difference is in Wheatley's last sentence.
We asked Mayor Kasim Reed's office why he and board members he appointed would like to see a change in leadership, as the AHA statement says. "We have no comment," replied a spokeswoman.
Because that's what the writer of a "good story" actually does.


Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Oh just let the kid have one little victory every now and then. Good grief. So he said Buckhead in a silly way. I do that 10x a day.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

One more thing... this has nothing, if anything to do with Cardinale, and whether his style pleases you, me or the cat next door. I don't think Cardinale give's a shit whether he's offending your delicate journalistic sensibilities.

It's more (for me) about the Cox Media Farm products crediting OTHER sources. They've been notoriously reluctant to do this over the years. Actually, they don't do it at all. That's why the Tweet from some AJC Twitter feed stood out so. It was a first. For a Cox product. Historically, they just steal. (WABE also cited Cardinale's scoop on the Renee Glover getting the heave-ho matter.)

Other ATL MSM outlets have no problem citing, shall we say, less traditional sources. 11Alive is particularly good about it. So is the online outreach effort they've been working to build. Wheatley at CL is really great about sharing too.

Then some, like Fox 5, hardly know the Internet exists. And that people write about Atlanta stuff all over it. And share it amongst themselves.

It's very erratic. But we've got to stand up and holler, where necessary, to make sure sources are cited and credit is... credited. It's the right thing to do.

Otherwise media mega malls like Cox will get even fatter and sloppier than they already are.

griftdrift said...

I know by any means necessary works for you Grayson, but it doesn't for me. The AJC has a track record of crediting people that are bad actors.

I give credit where credit is due. Considering where they were five years ago, that the AJC has a "twitterdesk" is stunning. But the traditional media still has a role in determining what is the standard and what is not. By throwing the most basic ethics out the window helps no one.

Rewarding someone who has so little respect for the craft demeans us all.