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  1. #176
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    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Pete, just curious...do you consider yourself a journalist in your role reporting and commenting on this site?

  2. #177

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    Pete, just curious...do you consider yourself a journalist in your role reporting and commenting on this site?
    I am a reporter in terms of items on our News page.

    Otherwise, in the forum I am merely a poster with my own opinions.

  3. Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    Please forgive my ignorance, but.... why? I personally find OKCTalk to be an incredible resource for learning about new projects and the inner workings of what's happening in OKC. What negative views of the site do you hear?
    Most of it comes from persons who only casually/occasionally read the the site, or have a lack of understanding of how discussion forums work. Consider that for many in business and leadership in OKC their first interaction with this site is/was when someone directs them to a thread where their business/design/development/effort is being critiqued/criticized. In fact this is how I originally came to post regularly on the site a decade ago; I was responding to my business being denigrated here. Others arrived here in the same manner, for instance, Jeepnokc who came here because of critiques of the office he was building. Instead of taking it personally or rejecting the site as a bunch of haters as some do, he tried to better understand the criticism and also to politely engage, plus correct imperfect information where warranted. I took the same approach myself. Today that approach of course is social media 101, and extends to consumer sites like Yelp, Tripadvisor, Facebook business listings, etc...but all of these sites are variously seen as hater sites by many people whose only interactions are when they go there to see their own negative reviews.

    A casual user would also not understand that when someone puts forward incorrect information on this site (as will naturally happen in any open forum) it is almost always quickly corrected by someone with access to more accurate info. This is an important and valuable feature of this site; there are knowledgeable contributors who can and usually do correct misinformation. You and I are regulars here and understand that it exists, but if you are not a regular reader you would NOT understand this. Their (wrong) perception is that anyone can say anything without consequence or correction.

    Good use of the FORUM function of OKCTalk really demands that a reader invest time and effort into knowing who is credible, knowing and understanding various biases people may have, etc.. An example of this is in the convention center discussion. Most anyone who follows that discussion knows that Pete and I regularly go back and forth (generally with much respect for the other's opinion). I get many messages both online and in person from people who appreciate industry insight that I bring. But a seasoned reader is also perfectly justified in remembering that I am still from within the visitor industry (as Pete often reminds people) and therefore they're entitled to take my opinion with a grain of salt or to dismiss me as merely a booster. Just as they must also remember that Pete has routinely expressed considerable questioning (I'll stop short of saying bias) toward most current uses of TIF and other public funding in general, plus a disdain for certain personalities and processes (or lack thereof ). It is completely fair to consider all of these things when analyzing our conversations, and often the truth is somewhere in the middle, anyway.

    But a casual user of the site (most still are) doesn't have the benefit of knowing our various angles. They also don't know when someone commenting on a project has - for instance - a background in urban planning vs - again for instance - a simple and general disdain for anything and everything OKC (I'm sure you can think of one or two volume posters over the years who fit this description). The problem is for a casual consumer of information, the latter comes off so shockingly negative (and in the past, high-volume) that it unfairly colors their opinion of the entire site. I will pause to point out that Pete has actually BANNED a few of the people who were so pervasively negative, and much to the benefit of the discourse here in my opinion. I know personally that he struggled with these decisions but ultimately decided that honest, civil discourse and the site's overall reputation outweighed unrestricted speech or any value they brought. And those of us who are regulars here know that the comments on the site are overwhelmingly positive and constructive, in reality.

    But the reputation of those negative posters still remains, especially among people who rejected the site years ago over those types of comments, and this is most unfair in my opinion. This is where I often stick my neck out; I ALWAYS defend Pete, this site and its general population of posters to people who try to paint the site with one brush, as often happens in my experience. If you've never heard a bad word we definitely move in different circles; I find myself defending the site several times a month, minimum. Some of this probably also happens because I'm open about my identity here; people know I post on this site and often ask me why I bother. If a person completely hides their identity on here they probably don't have near the number of people spontaneously asking them about the site. If you think this doesn't happen or does not exist in the community, just ask Pete directly, as he is very aware of those comments and is justifiably offended by them. It 100% does happen - often among people who very much matter - and it is surely maddening for him as OKCTalk's owner as I know it is frustrating for me as someone who uses and appreciates the site.

    Also, many casual consumers don't recognize the difference between the discussion forum and Pete's news gathering for the site. I know he has worked diligently to provide some separation between the two, which I think is very appropriate.

    Finally, the other things that I think have a bearing are occasional, very personal comments made on OKCTalk towards persons who aren't here to defend themselves but who usually are otherwise well-regarded in the community. Those without question turn off not only those specific people (when the comments get back around to them) but also the people who know them personally, work with them, respect them. This is a small town in many ways. Again I will point out that Pete has done a very good job over the years of squelching much of this type of talk and reminding posters that these are still individuals living and working in OKC and that we should keep things civil, even as we air differences of opinion.

    I say NONE of these things as criticisms of the site - which in my own opinion is excellent and very well-moderated by Pete - I only say them to answer your question as to what negative comments exist in the community and why. I obviously greatly value the site myself or I wouldn't spend my time here trying to add to the conversation or, often, learning new information myself. But at the end of the day a certain portion of the population will view what we do here as not much different than the comment sections at the bottom of online news stories from TV and newspaper sites, although you and I know it is a thousand times more valuable and informative.

    OK, enough about all of this. You asked, I answered. Hopefully that counts as me defending OKCTalk in a public forum. Feel free to go back to bashing the newspaper...

  4. #179

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Glad Urbanized didn't bow out like he said he would. He's a solid voice and the poster I respect the most here.

    Pete, one of these days you're going to have to break off your reporting from the forums to earn the respect you desire.

  5. #180

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Why would that be necessary? News should be discussed and media such as this site gives more people more direct participation. I think this type of format is the future.

  6. #181

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    I apologized to Urbanized in private but wanted to also do it here on the site, since this is where I called him out to a certain degree.

    Urbanized is a great and valued poster who is in a difficult spot, and I've told him that.


    At the same time, I think he and others who pay attention understand my frustration.

    I try my honest best to follow the universally known and accepted best practices of journalism, chiefly providing credit to others where due so they can be rewarded for their work. That the state's largest news agency actively works against these principles is disappointing and bad for the community and the profession, but I will not abandon my commitment to what I know to be right from both a common sense standpoint and through interviewing experts in the field.

    I also never ask anyone -- people who read here and even those I interview for stories -- to chose between OKCTalk and the Oklahoman or other news outlets. I think that is highly unethical but it also makes it easy for others to duplicate our work without providing proper credit.

    Reluctantly, I accept all of that while I also continue to work very, very hard at presenting completely new information and stories.

  7. #182

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Pete, as one of the occasional posters for the past few years, I want to personally thank you for this forum. I always go here for the "real" scoop on civic matters as I can trust most of the posters over what the tv or NewsOK says. I would echo everything Urbanized said above. Please keep up the good work.

  8. Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Yes Pete, thanks for your kind words (also thanks to bradh for the kind things he said above). And Pete I will also echo a thank you for keeping the forum up and running, for keeping it a generally fair and civil place, and for doing the work you do to bring new information to the table on a regular basis. Probably as much as anyone here I know the effort you put into it.

  9. Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by bradh View Post
    Glad Urbanized didn't bow out like he said he would...
    Oh and one other thing...I only said I was generally staying out of the OPUBCO discussion...and I still intend to do this! No plans whatsoever to stop flapping my yap elsewhere on the site, for better or worse...

  10. Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    This comes from an authority on journalism ethics I recently interviewed.
    Gotta make a point here, Pete. No such authority exists, because no genuine code of ethics for journalism exists. That point was brought out to me quite forcefully many years ago by H. H. Herbert, founder of the OU J-School, who taught a required course of 'Ethics in Journalism" at OU. The only facsimile for such is the personal ethical code of the individual journalist, which can be and is regularly overridden by the policies of the employers. This has driven many if not most of the traditional ethical practices into the dustbin of history. This city has never, in its 120 years of existence, enjoyed a truly ethical press with any real power.

  11. #186

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kyle View Post
    Gotta make a point here, Pete. No such authority exists, because no genuine code of ethics for journalism exists. That point was brought out to me quite forcefully many years ago by H. H. Herbert, founder of the OU J-School, who taught a required course of 'Ethics in Journalism" at OU. The only facsimile for such is the personal ethical code of the individual journalist, which can be and is regularly overridden by the policies of the employers. This has driven many if not most of the traditional ethical practices into the dustbin of history. This city has never, in its 120 years of existence, enjoyed a truly ethical press with any real power.
    I interviewed a professor in Florida who teaches a course on journalistic ethics and who was referred to me by reporters at Reuters.

    There is also a formal ethics committee at the Society of Professional Journalists (I am a member) and I've talked to them extensively on these subjects and they have also shared written standards from Reuters, Bloomberg and other respected publications.

    At some point I will write more about all this, but wanted to underscore I am not merely expressing my opinion but citing the best sources I could find.

  12. Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    And I must hasten to add that you, Pete, regularly display the high standard of "journalistic ethics" that I had expected to be universal before I became immersed in the industry and saw the lack of same up close and personal. I regularly come here to find out what is really happening in OKC, and only wish that a similarly ethocal site existed to keep me posted on the national and international scene!

    Also note that I became a member of Sigma Delta Chi while still in J-School, and its evolution into the SPJ took place long after practices at NW 4 and Broadway had driven me out of the "working press." Even then, it had a written code that we were expected to follow, but unlike Law, Medicine, and Engineering, there was no code with legal enforcement -- and thanks to the First Amendment, no such powerful code can be created in this nation (for which I am grateful).

    What's needed is increased accountability on the part of the owners, but that's been steadily diminishing for longer than either of us has been alive.

  13. #188

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    Steve is a business COLUMNIST. He is paid to give opinion, and to have it appear on the business page. This is standard practice at newspapers all over the country. When it is a column, when he writes in first person, etc., it is SUPPOSED to be the opinion of someone who has covered downtown for years, just like when Berry Trammel writes columns appearing in the sports section, based on his own experiences in sports journalism. When Steve is writing a column it is supposed to be labeled "OKC Central," which is the branding of both his column and of his blog.
    Thanks for pointing that out. I had never noticed that before and I'm sure I'm not alone in knowing that OKC Central signifies a column. In fact, I had never even noticed that he writes under that from time to time. As for Tramel, whenever he writes there is a sub-header that says "Commentary".

    I also thought it was interesting that today when Steve wrote under OKC Central today about Villa Teresa he didn't seem to inject any opinion.

  14. #189

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDeckMedia View Post
    I've seen too many interviews of young journalists who, when asked why they entered the field, responded, "Because I want to make a difference in the world."

    Like Boulder, I want news straight up, accurate and complete, preferably proofed by an editor before distribution. Just tell me what happened at city hall, the state capitol, in court, and on the police blotter (if its of substance).
    I for one want some journalists to make a difference. I want there to be aspiring people who want to uncover injustice and corruption. Not sure why there canít be journalists that do that.

  15. #190

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by catcherinthewry View Post
    Thanks for pointing that out. I had never noticed that before and I'm sure I'm not alone in knowing that OKC Central signifies a column. In fact, I had never even noticed that he writes under that from time to time. As for Tramel, whenever he writes there is a sub-header that says "Commentary".

    I also thought it was interesting that today when Steve wrote under OKC Central today about Villa Teresa he didn't seem to inject any opinion.
    All of his work goes under OKC Central -- reporting, opinion, etc. That does not signify column or pure opinion.

    Similarly, his Twitter account is under OKC Central and that is pure opinion and all kinds of absolute craziness. And no where does it say "these opinions are my own". That the Oklahoman allows that -- just like they allowed Brianna Bailey to post f* and s* bombs all over the place -- says much about their editors and general lack of control.

    I get it's a new era and you want to encourage your writers to reach people on social platforms, but when you are using a company's name to do that, you'd think someone would care that you say f* over and over again. But not the Oklahoman.

    I realize Lackmeyer has both the designation of columnist and reporter but 1) that's bad journalistic practice; 2) to the extent others do it, they generally do it for small, unprofessional publications and/or very infrequently; 3) even at the Oklahoman few do both and it's always clear which is which; and 4) he frequently mixes both reporting and opinion.

    I will also restate my point this is NOT a common practice even at the Oklahoman.

  16. #191

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by onthestrip View Post
    I for one want some journalists to make a difference. I want there to be aspiring people who want to uncover injustice and corruption. Not sure why there can’t be journalists that do that.
    You have to have a reason to write a story, dig into something, etc. That is, unless you just want to sit around and field and re-write press releases.

    The key is being fair even though you are pursuing a certain angle. For all the bashing that national media has been receiving, the huge majority is just people lot liking what is being reported. I've worked with both Bloomberg and Reuters and there were tons of things their editors cut simple due to the fact that we had to be able to 100% back up everything we wrote.

    The issue is what those big enterprises choose to cover. But when they cover something, they are very buttoned down which is why you almost never see them being successfully sued. And that is generally the standard: Could you defend your reporting in a court of law?

    It's also why few lawsuits are even attempted because the accusing party is just posturing and knows darn well they don't have a case. And if push came to shove, the reporter would be able to verify everything they had written and get to go into more detail and rehash in a public court.

  17. #192

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    All of his work goes under OKC Central -- reporting, opinion, etc. That does not signify column or pure opinion
    That may be true online, but in the physical paper under his byline it normally just says Business Writer. Today was the only time in the last two weeks that his story was under OKC Central.

  18. #193

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    My only quarrel with the DOK is that they must like to act like OKCTalk does not exist. Every one of their premium articles, I have already seen the information here before it even comes out. We have such awesome sleuthers and informed posters on here, that those articles, even though they cost $.99 each, are already outdated by the time they get on the website.

  19. #194

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny d View Post
    My only quarrel with the DOK is that they must like to act like OKCTalk does not exist. Every one of their premium articles, I have already seen the information here before it even comes out. We have such awesome sleuthers and informed posters on here, that those articles, even though they cost $.99 each, are already outdated by the time they get on the website.
    That's not really surprising. There are still a lot of people who know nothing about OKC talk and the DOK isn't about to tell them that they can get the same content for free.

    Regarding the editorial content, you can find a lot of people on youtube and blogs who will offer their opinions without an extra charge.

  20. #195

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    BTW Pete, on a personal note, and not really directed at the DOK (which I won't get into because I know we don't agree 100%).... This site - my wife, my mother, family members, coworkers, friends, etc, always call me to find out about new developments, or what's being built somewhere, etc, because they know I'll know. And the only reason is because I consume everything here. So thanks for making me look much smarter than I am.

  21. Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    I appreciate that people on this forum can disagree while still being respectful and not take things too personally. That's a quality that's extremely hard to find in most online discussions and increasingly difficult to come by in person to person discourse.

  22. #197

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    There will always be some who try to characterize the discussions here as negative or argumentative or even conspiracy theory but I defy you to find an open forum where people are more respectful and knowledgeable.

    And, if not for OKCTalk where would you go to discuss anything in OKC? There are a few Facebook groups but they are a completely different animal. I could point to many, many examples of where discussion and information sharing here has absolutely benefited the community.

    When you run an open forum you are going to get people criticizing, as that is the nature of on-line discourse. But I'm pretty proud of this place and the whole reason I bought it and keep pouring money and energy into it is the very strong belief in the value.

    Also wanted to point out that we do very, very little moderation here for such an active site. That says a lot about the people here and the quality of the discussion.

  23. #198

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    There will always be some who try to characterize the discussions here as negative or argumentative or even conspiracy theory but I defy you to find an open forum where people are more respectful and knowledgeable.

    And, if not for OKCTalk where would you go to discuss anything in OKC? There are a few Facebook groups but they are a completely different animal. I could point to many, many examples of where discussion and information sharing here has absolutely benefited the community.

    When you run an open forum you are going to get people criticizing, as that is the nature of on-line discourse. But I'm pretty proud of this place and the whole reason I bought it and keep pouring money and energy into it is the very strong belief in the value.

    Also wanted to point out that we do very, very little moderation here for such an active site. That says a lot about the people here and the quality of the discussion.
    Rock on Pete. Rock On.

  24. Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    Most of it comes from persons who only casually/occasionally read the the site, or have a lack of understanding of how discussion forums work.
    [...]
    OK, enough about all of this. You asked, I answered. Hopefully that counts as me defending OKCTalk in a public forum. Feel free to go back to bashing the newspaper...
    I shortened the quote for sake of the flow of the forum, but thank you - that was an incredibly thorough and thoughtful response. By trade I'm an IT nerd, so I understand how forums can be - and it simply hadn't occurred to me that some people would have the sorts of reactions you've described. That's disappointing that some think this way, but - upon reflection - understandable, for all of the reasons you've mentioned. I really appreciate your insights and contributions to OKCTalk, both online and off!

  25. #200

    Default Re: OPUBCO / Oklahoman Business Practices

    Lackmeyer wrote an article today about the Business Improvement District. What I found interesting was that his subheader today was "Commentary". I doubt that the change is a coincidence, but even if it is, I appreciate the clarification.

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