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Thread: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

  1. Post OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Guys, many of us have mentioned it before, and I have seen it time and time again - but I think now it is time to start a fresh thread about Oklahoma City's media, or lack thereof. But I want to preface everything by saying, let's make this constructive and point out things we LIKE from other markets or ways OKC can improve and not just focus on the faults.

    The MAIN issues I have with OKC media stem from the Daily Oklahoman and their lack of content as well as their being way too slow to publish in most situations. At first, I thought there must be some reason for this - but I have seen far too many examples of much better press in other markets, and now I think it is time to have some corrective action in OKC.

    For example. Tonight's game had OKC Thunder travel to Portland Trailblazers, a division foe and along with OKC, one of the top markee players in Brandon Roy not to mention the injured Odon. OKC won the game and the story was published almost immediately in the Portland Oregonian newspaper. http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/in...tland_106.html

    Not only was it published less than 10 minutes after the game ended with OKC winning, but the storey was complete, full of facts and information about both teams and wasn't heavily slanted against OKC but also didn't 'diss' Portland. The storey in the Oregonian stated the facts of the game, and left plenty of areas for the locals to cheer or consult their team.

    Now, take a look at the Oklahoman's coverage, 6 sentences and all of them are like rushed afterthoughts, like OKC's media didn't care or was too busy to write an article about THEIR winning team. http://newsok.com/durant-and-westbro...eadline_sports

    No scoop, no interviews, nothing. Just, OH, The Thunder won. But they had several articles BLASTING the Thunder the past few days. Again, little scoop - just reporter/editor opinion. All negative or bandwagony.

    What about OKC's AFL team. Does anybody even know they won't play in the AFL anymore? if you do know, you found out AFTER the fact. The team received NO coverage in Newsok, even though TECHNICALLY they are a major league team. .. No wonder the team folded.

    Another Example: It's not just sports though. The SkyDance Bridge story, it was published in the Oklahoman AFTER the city council already voted. And once again, that first article was a 4 or so sentencer with no information other than, the decision was made. WAS MADE!!!!! A day or two later, the Oklahoman had a much better storey published but again - it was LATE and the story didn't really offer anything we didn't already know, such as inside investigation or objective (even subjective) thoughts as to why the council voted the way they did. No interviews, no scoop - just, 'oh by the way, this happened on Tuesday. Council voted to downsize the SkyDance Bridge.' End of story. It almost appears as if there would NOT have been another complete article published about the SkyDance Bridge if it wasn't for the high degree of discussion on OKCTalk.

    To me, this is unacceptable! You have arguably the HOTTEST team in the NBA, everybody is gunning for the Thunder - and yet the newspaper is always late, and is always incomplete with their coverage, unless it is BEAT writer Darnell Mayberry giving his take on the team. But even that seems to be watered down, with just HIS OPINION. No interviews, no scoop. You have a public works project, which if somebody in the press had published the story BEFORE the city council meeting - perhaps concerned citizens might have showed up or written their council members to express their position, potentially giving council something to think about.

    Other articles published in the Oklahoman are very similar. Myriad Gardens' cafe, Urban Renewal meetings/decisions, election coverage, celebrities visiting the city, attractions or events going on in the city. Need I keep going? ....

    Either one liner headlines published well after the fact OR editorial commentaries posing as the official scoop when it is really one of the reporters/editors of the Oklahoman printing THEIR VIEW, THEIR OPINION and passing it off as fact. Even Dallas Morning News and USA TODAY (in some cases, even Tulsa world) write better and more complete articles about things OKC, and published sooner.


    OKC needs to stand up and demand better, or somebody needs to start another newspaper. This is horrible press in my opinion as even smaller cities 'like Wichita' has better content even though their city hardly has anything to write about.

    I know there are good people at the paper, Steve is one, Darnell is another, Dave seems to be quite good, and there are others. But the paper in general is not run well, and this needs attention. We need big league press, with complete information (you know, with the background/scoop as well as interviews from pro and opposing positions). Publish the information, the facts, the scoop - and do it as soon as possible, particularly if WE on OKCTalk know about things ahead of time (you'd think so should the Oklahoman with all of their inside 'resources' reporters and investigators).

    Sure, OKC's media has improved - in that at least now we actually GET stories. But it is a far cry from every peer city market and even most that are smaller. I know this probably is due to lack of competition and an Editor/Publishing Company who thinks they own or CONTROL Oklahoma City's thinking/position, but this has got to end and we must demand better. We deserve better.

    Here is your chance to voice your opinion and/or concerns. Hopefully Steve and some of the reporters who frequent OKCTalk can bring some of these constructive yet (hopefully) humbling observations/suggestions/criticisms to the Daily Oklahoman and they can produce a better product.

    Feel free to cite other OKC media sources too. I didn't because I am not local - I only can see the newsok coverage, you know - the self proclaimed "Oklahoma's most trusted news" source. ....

    We deserve Better
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  2. Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Two thumbs up.

    I won't reopen old wounds by repeating here what I've already said before during the Maps 3 campaign, but I certainly agree with what you said. While the Oklahoman does have some bright spots, such as Steve Lackmeyer, the editorial policy of the owners and managers can and does spill over into what its reporters are permitted to say and report on. It also employs some reporters, and I'm presently thinking of those who cover City Hall, that are simply mediocre either by choice or by command on what, when, and how, they do their job. The problems are pervasive and can be downright parochial. Did anyone but me notice the complete absence of reporting on the Ghouls Gone Wild parade on October 31 (the parade was on October 30) and following? Nada. Not gonna cover it because it was sponsored by the Gazette.

    As a practical matter, however, having a paper-press daily alternative is not economically possible. Even in the days before the internet took away advertisers and speed of reporting from paper-press, Bill Atkinson learned after making a valiant effort and paper-press competition that the market was not large enough to support two full-fledged daily newspapers.

    We are stuck with what we've got and the owners of the Oklahoman know it. It might be helpful if, along with its economic-type reports, Forbes published a "top 10" and "top bottom" list for metropolitan newspapers. Would it matter if it did? Probably not.

  3. #3

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Just playing devil's advocate but it goes back to what is the role of the "Press"? Some would argue that it is just there to report the facts of what has already happened (who, what, where, when and why). Others say it should be an advocate and influence the news (getting people to show up at council meetings etc). Then there is investigative journalism (the watchdog) but then again, that is primarily after the fact reporting.

  4. Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Larry, it would be nice if the press did all 3 roles.

    It does in other markets, there are reports before, during and after with interviews from opposing sides and background/history as well as PROFESSIONAL or UNIVERSITY/RESEARCH statements. Why is OKC so different - getting only the facts, and the BARE and often slanted "facts" at that.

    We need to demand more. All 3 roles filled; Report the Facts, Involve the Public, and Investigate - BEFORE there is Editorial.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  5. Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Check out the Portland coverage of the OKC-PDX game last night; all stories published before, during, or within 2-3 hours of the game ending, the first story hit just 5 minutes afte the game, and it was COMPLETE. There likely will be several more stories written Friday. ... Impressive media coverage, of a loss.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/in...tland_106.html
    http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/in...azers_106.html
    http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/in..._thunde_1.html
    http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/in...der_updat.html
    http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/in...ty_thunde.html
    http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/in...eview_okl.html
    http://blog.oregonlive.com/nba/2010/..._humility.html

    a REAL SportsPage/Scoreboard http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/

    Oregonian is a great benchmark for the OKC/Oklahoman. ....
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  6. Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Well like so many things in media today, journalists no longer report. They want to be flashy and attract attention. Be it print, radio, or tv...it's all the same. New "journalists" lack what their forefathers had; the ability to report without editorializing. If you read the Oklahoman, that's mostly what you see....especially in the sports section. People like Jenni Carlson are perfect examples of everything that's wrong with journalism. I can't think of his name, but that red hed guy that at least used to be on Fox 25 was a good TV example. His tone of voice tries to make you "feel" the story. Let's not even talk about the weather personalities. I'm not going to call them meteorologists anymore. It's fundamental to the style of today...flash it, sensationalize it, and make as big of a stink you can about it.....ratings over content. Which is why i no longer pay for the paper, and hardly every watch the news. I'll stick to the AP/NPR/etc.

  7. #7

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    I seldom get out...anymore...but had to go to a Dr. appt. and some lab work in OKC Tuesday to sustain life...picked up an Oklahoman...and was appalled at the size of the thing--this dinky, quasi-tabloid bastard-sized thing...had no idea it had shrunk into this oddity. Media all over is in full revision the world over for a lot of reasons...but I couldn't even read the thing...the size was so repugnant. Not a standard size, not a tabloid, an abortion!

  8. #8

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Too many reports chasing the next Pulitzer. Another factor is that the majority of the sheeple out here could care less about being informed they want to be entertianed.

  9. #9

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    The comments above pretty much summarize my thoughts on the Daily Joklahoman, and agree with Doug, we're pretty much stuck with it because of their good ole boy network. I enjoy an occasional read from Slackmeyer, but that's not enough to make me purchase a subscription when I can read it for free online or my mobile device (phone, iPad, etc.). I'm purchase a good amount of ads with them through my employer, so I make my contribution back to them that way.

    My hope is that since newspapers are going all digital in the foreseeable future, and costs of doing business is next to nothing in the digital world, that someone or a group of someones such as OKCTalkers, have the fortitude and foresight to be able to go against the once almighty Joklahoman as the cost won't be a huge factor since Brick/Mortar and a printing press won't be necessary. OKC citizens deserve better with our media (Broadcast and Print), especially being a city this size.

  10. #10

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Have to reiterate again...the obvious...newsprint newspapers are as dead as a doornail. Does not mean they will fold tomorrow...but smart money is not buying stock there. They should--and may well be--work on the best possible ways to offer an online version that is enticing in some way...can be an exciting time to come up the the new idea that will make a big splash...but no one wants piles and piles and piles of crap newsprint, that is not worth wasting trees and pollution to make anymore. It's over. I got my start in my vocation and life via newspapers...worked with the Norman Transcript, The Oklahoma Daily, and the Oklahoma City Times and the Daily Oklahoman, the Houston Post, the Houston Chronicle...ink is in my blood. Times have changed. It is merely a juncture in the history of visual communication.

  11. #11

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    BTW--regarding better writers and reporting...those days are gone as well. As one can readily see on this group of forums...it has become a Tower of Babel, a cacophony of disparate ideas...one can find whatever one wants...literally. I suppose that is good--but--I am not sure. We are destined to live in chaos in the future, I fear, which makes the closing out of my life--which is not far off--far more enticing. Ironic. Best of luck to the rest of you.

  12. #12

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    well said jmark. the best thing they can do is try to become more innovative, but they won't, sure they know to create a digital version to survive, but they will become less important than the past because they will fail to get what they need to do to become a major influence, instead they will just be another of many online news outlets.

  13. #13

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    If you want an immediate, post-game analysis of a Thunder game, read Charles Hill at dustbury.com.

  14. #14

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    I realize that "print is dead" and all, but WTF is up with these six paragraph breezers I see on Newsok.com? No depth, no perspective, one or two quotes, and that's it. Total joke.

    Is it just widely believed that consumers don't want any depth of perspective by journalists, and so they don't provide, or has the product just gotten that bad?

    I do often admire Steve's work, so I don't put him in that category. His articles are almost always well sourced, researched, substantive, and thoughtful. Some of the other tripe on that paper, though, is just BAD.

    I've been reading the Oklahoman for years, and I've noticed the overall quality decline rapidly in the last few years.

    There are many notable exceptions in the journalism world to this rule, i.e., New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and to a lesser extent, Washington Post, that do as good or better of a job than any other news medium. But these are exceptions.

    I don't believe people are migrating to blogs just to reinforce their opinions. Many do, but many others are turning to blogs because they're hungry for more depth of perspective, something they can't count on as much from traditional media sources.

  15. Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Alrighty...
    - Criticisms of coverage of Skydance Bridge. Bring it up with Bryan Dean, the writer.
    - Thunder coverage. Good grief people, the game ended about 12:30-1 a.m. I'm amazed anything got in the paper at that hour. It's not fair to compare The Oklahoman to the Oregonian coverage at that point when one considers the time difference and that it was in OREGON. It's always quicker and easier to go big on coverage when its on your home turf. Notice more coverage was posted this morning...
    - Short stuff. No argument here. But here's the thing - the newspaper bosses, not just mine, they hire these consultants. I don't like consultants. But they're hired, they do focus groups, and they come back telling the bosses that readers want shorter stories. Some of us argued such claims, and have tried to show there is a desire for more depth. And to some degree, the consultant's dictates have faded, though I always fear another consultant will be hired who will say the same stuff all over again. It's not a fun situation. You don't like attention deficit disorder journalism? Guess what? I don't either. So as I've said before, don't just complain on an online forum - email the paper's top editors and let them know YOU WANT MORE!
    - There are one or two of you who have proven to be totally hostile and I'm not going to bother getting into another flame war. I don't agree that local news organizations like The Oklahoman are doomed, thought I do agree they need to adapt, and I think in some ways we are doing just that (I'm incredibly proud and giddy over the NewsOK application for Ipad. Our multimedia folks are brilliant and innovative).
    - I'm not sure you guys are even reading the paper or NewsOK to fully judge what's going on. One
    - Bomber, I'm not going to argue with what you're saying. But here's the thing - the audience will echo what you're saying, and yet go the totally opposite direction. Look at cable news. CNN is the one trying more than the others to stay true to traditional reporting - or at least the sort of unbiased news the audience says it wants. And yet who gets the big ratings? Fox News. And then coming in second is MSNBC, which is trying to prove that Fox News hasn't gone nearly far enough in showing bias one way or another. And they've been rewarded for that. And the advertisers flock to MSNBC and Fox News.... see the contradiction?
    - Those of us still trying to get some context and depth in the paper need you, the audience, to respond and send an affirmative message to the editors and publishers of various news media and let them know this is what you want. Hot Rod, I did a very in-depth story on the Myriad Gardens restaurants, and I think I've done a decent job keeping folks informed about Urban Renewal. Are we getting it all? No, not by a long shot. Four years ago we had 12 people on the paper's business desk. Now we have seven. Yet we're still all doing our best to try put out the same section we were the 12 people. But look at your own work place and consider how you've tried to do more with less. It's not a good situation.

  16. Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Steve,

    Sounds like you like where you work, and that's good.

    A few simple questions. On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest),

    1. What rating do you give the Oklahoman's choice not to report on the 10/30/2010 Ghouls Gone Wild parade on or after 10/30/2010?
    2. As to your answer in #1 and in keeping with the title of this thread, do you think that did we deserved better?
    3. What rating do you give the Oklahoman's reporting during the Maps 3 campaign?
    4. As to your answer in #3 and in keeping with the title of this thread, do you think that we deserved better?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    It is not entirely fair to try to put Steve on the record against his employer, especially concerning areas in which he is not engaged and which he has no control over. I think Steve has been as candid as he can be.

  18. Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    It is not entirely fair to try to put Steve on the record against his employer, especially concerning areas in which he is not engaged and which he has no control over. I think Steve has been as candid as he can be.
    Ordinarily and generally, I would agree with that, Rover. As I said in my 1st comment in this thread, Steve is one of the Oklahoman's bright spots, in my opinion.

    However, it was Steve's choice to offer his defense about his employer on what has been said thus far in this thread, some parts going beyond ares in which is not engaged as a reporter, and, with that lengthy reply, as a judge during a trial might say, "Well, you opened that door, counselor. Objection overruled."

    I do understand that Steve may not want to say anything negative about his employer, and that's understandable. Since he chose to respond in the thread as he did, it's also fair, I think, to note that if he is unwilling to comment negatively that one ought not take what he DOES have to say as being particularly comprehensive or complete, if that makes sense.

  19. #19

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Quote Originally Posted by HOT ROD View Post
    Check out the Portland coverage of the OKC-PDX game last night; all stories published before, during, or within 2-3 hours of the game ending, the first story hit just 5 minutes afte the game, and it was COMPLETE.
    I think you're giving them a little more credit than they're due. There's no way the reporter could have interviewed the coach, interviewed a player, worked their quotes into his story, filed it, and gotten it online within 5 minutes of the game ending. I didn't look at the clock last night when the game ended, but it shows that the first story was posted at 10:55 (Portland time, I assume). I think the game ended about 20 minutes before that, didn't it?

  20. #20

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Hey guys I can understand the frustration echoed here but I do agree with Steve when comparing the Oklahoman with the Oregonian. It was not fair to compare the two in light of the fact that it was a home game for Portland. Having said that you must realize the Oklahoman has deadlines to meet before going to print and the game did not end until past midnight central time. I will probably get raked over the coals for supporting the Oklahoman but geez cut 'em some slack.
    The Oklahoman and NewsOK consistently win numerous regional and statewide awards year in and year out and are both thought of highly by their peers.
    Awards won just this year alone. http://newsok.com/awards

  21. Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Steve, your comments are well received - however, I must point out that even when events happen in OKC, the Daily Oklahoman is brief and slow. They do not provide near as much coverage as what the Oregonian did. Im not buying the excuse of time, as I have seen other markets in Central and Eastern publish and in today's digital age it is expected. You are aware of Breaking News, and when OKC wins a contested matchup - the Oklahoman should have Breaking news because there ARE reporters covering and even attending those games and after all, OKC is a major league city now.

    Im not going to individually address reporters because that is the job of the management of the Oklahoman. I am looking/appealing to the Publisher of the paper, to give feedback on my disgust with much of the content of the paper and trying to provide other papers for benchmarking.

    There also was no coverage in the Oklahoma of Topeka's or Corpus Christi's visits to OKC. ..... Not a mention.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  22. #22

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    I don't think it is fair to go directly after Steve on this subject either. He is an employee of the company in question, and puts up with a lot more than most of us would if it were our place of employment being ridiculed.

    If anything we need to support Steve in his efforts and direct our questions to the editors and let them know how we feel.

  23. #23

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Quote Originally Posted by okclee View Post
    I don't think it is fair to go directly after Steve on this subject either. He is an employee of the company in question, and puts up with a lot more than most of us would if it were our place of employment being ridiculed.

    If anything we need to support Steve in his efforts and direct our questions to the editors and let them know how we feel.
    Ditto !

  24. Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    Also to Steve specifically, I love and appreciate the hard work you do. You are one of the exceptions.

    However, making the claim that the staff has been trimmed does not account for the tardiness of publishing. You must agree with me that the Oklahoman totally biffed it on the SkyDance Bridge - for whatever reason. The story came out late, and it was a one liner - just like almost everything else that comes from City Hall or the local government. It is if the paper wants to publish their opinion or what they WANT the public to know, and that's it "take it or leave it". However, I argue that the public should have known in advance there were problems with the SkyDance Bridge, and that there was going to be a vote at City Hall, and these are ways the public can be involved (including sending emails to council if you can't attend the vote in person).

    Instead of advocating the consistent conservative message that is prevalent in the Oklahoman, why not publish the full truth/content timely and urgently and let the public decide for themselves, THEN publish in Editorial what the paper would like to say about it.

    Is there a way, Steve, that you could mention this forum in particular to the bosses at the Oklahoman? Forums like this can be even MUCH BETTER tool to guage the public as we have voiced opinions numerous times and being that most participants of OKCTalk are quite opinionated and typically support OKC - I would think this would be more valuable (and cheaper) than hiring consultants who often just say what YOU WANT TO HEAR (as in 'the public wants less content" so YOU CAN SAVE $$ ON PUBLISHING.. as I suspect was the end result of that consulting project).

    Yes, in business we have cut and do more with less - it is a fact of life. But in my business, since I have competition, we can't be late on forecasts or business planning which is the end product of my particular span of control.

    You also must realize and agree, that things are ALSO EASIER now due to the internet and electronic resources. There is NO REASON for the Oklahoman to have short content and consistently late publishing ONLINE! I think that is the feedback we'd like to share the most.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  25. #25

    Default Re: OKC Media needs some self reflection - WE DESERVE BETTER

    We deserve better??

    It's a private company. We deserve to get what we pay for and lately people are headed to the internet for service that costs them nothing.

    I think I'm one of the few people that thinks people will pay to read online newspapers that deliver news in their area. www.Newsok.com (The Oklahoman's site) is very innovative and well-run and I don't see why they don't start charging for daily subscribers. It's not my industry and I'm sure the ones that are making that decision know better than I do but from an outsides POV, start charging.

    I paid for my newsok iPhone app the instant I saw that it was available. One of the great things about the internet is that you EASILY charge by section viewable.

    Do we deserve better? Nope. Do we want better? Sure...but we can't get better without feeding the source we want to grow.

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