Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009 Tribune: Double Stories, Double Pictures, and a Front Page Headline Problem

If you were reading the Tribune yesterday, August 9th, you may have done a double "double-take"!

The Trib put the same exact article in two different sections of yesterday's paper. Tommy Bible, general manager of the Jefferson-Cocke County Utility District, received the Tennessee Gas Association's Silver Flame Award. The Trib decided to let you read about Bible's honor on page C-8 under the headline Tommy Bible winner of TGA Silver Flame Award or, if you missed it there, you could read it again on page D-2 under the headline Bible earns TGA Award. Same story, same wording, same report from an unidentified source. [Congratulations, Mr. Bible. Congratulations, Mr. Bible.]

And a picture on page A-3 of yesterday's Trib of two lovely father-daughter duos buying dance tickets might have made you think "Wait, didn't I see a picture of these same people buying dance tickets in the Trib on August 7th." Relax. You aren't going crazy. The same people, in a slightly different pose, did appear in the August 7th and the August 9th Tribune.

The article that accompanied each picture was similar but with one major difference. On August 7th, the article written by Mike Williams said that the individuals were buying tickets for a father-daughter dance at All Saints' Episcopal Church as a fundraiser for Stepping Out Ministries. On August 9th, the article "from Staff Reports" said that the individuals were buying tickets for a father-daughter dance at All Saints' Episcopal Church as a fundraiser for the Imagination Library book program.

Both pictures included the same people: Melissa Carson of Stepping Out Ministries with the father-daughter duos of Bob and Maggie Vick and Landon and Alyssa Gibson.

Finally, expect a correction on yesterday's front-page headline that read: West announces candidacy for county clerk. Teresa West is not running for county clerk, a position currently held by Linda Wilder. West is running for Circuit Court Clerk, a position currently held by Kathy Mullins who is not seeking re-election in 2010. The article "from Staff Reports" had the right information but the headline, well, it was a mess.

By the way, if you have ever wondered why so many Trib articles don't name the local reporter, it is my understanding that the Trib will not put the name of the same reporter as a by-line for two articles on the same page. Bobbie Young may write two front-page stories, but the Trib will only put her name/by-line on one of her stories and her second story will show "staff reports" as the by-line. Of course, some "news" articles are just press releases or info that has been sent in by city or county government or the school board and these, too, may have a "staff reports" or "contributed reports" by-line.

[UPDATE: The Trib's correction on the Teresa West article appeared in little print on page 2 today. The paper apologized for the error and said that West is running for Circuit Court Clerk.]

No comments: