Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Danger of Always Being On

About a week ago, a client complained about the media, saying it is very hard to get the attention of reporters these days, and that she thought the reason could be laziness.

I assured her that the reason that she saw so many wire service stories instead of local stories is not due to laziness but resources.

Not only have local papers shed lots of reporters -- the Boston Globe once had more than 500 editorial staffers and now has fewer than 350, a significant decrease -- but increasingly these reporters are asked to also take the photographs and video that accompany their articles and produce podcasts and video segments, too. Oh, and file more stories since there are fewer reporters.

There's a danger in that, and in always being on. Clark Hoyt, ombudsman at the New York Times, wrote about it, and I think it's an issue for journalists to be aware of, and PR functions, too. Because a tired, frustrated reporter vented her feelings about a press conference that makes both the Times and the company (Toyota) look bad. Check out the article, "The Danger of Always Being On."

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