Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Opoprtunities for further investigation

In the course of reading and responding to an eSarcasm post on 12 unintentionally dirty headlines, I had the chance to revisit a February 14, 2009 post and a follow-up post from February 19, 2009 on PasadenaNow's use of Indians to provide local content. Here's a recent example of PasadenaNow content, compiled "from staff reports":

Pasadena’s incoming police chief Phil Sanchez was sworn in Monday night in the courtyard at Pasadena City Hall before a crowd of law enforcement, city officials and community members.

Sanchez, 53, succeeds Bernard Melekian, who retired last November. Like Melekian, Sanchez formerly served with the Santa Monica Police Department, where he was the deputy chief of police.

“Phil Sanchez has a strong background in police management and a reputation as a leader who is sensitive to community issues,” Pasadena City Manager Michael J. Beck said last month when announcing Sanchez’s selection. “I am confident he will be well-received in the Pasadena community and the Pasadena Police Department.”

Sanchez says he intends to begin working right away with Pasadena Police Department personnel while becoming actively involved in the community.

Now it's not possible to identify whether the "staff" who compiled this article were all-Indian, all-American, or a mixture of the two. Why not? Because it's possible to write an article with this level of detail (I only printed a small excerpt) without ever having set foot in Pasadena.

Now perhaps some will complain that PasadenaNow got all of its information from a press release. Well, take a look at what the real journalists do.

Take this L.A. Now article from the Los Angeles Times...or, "from the metro staff of the Los Angeles Times and KTLA 5 News / Fox 5 San Diego." The article, which talks about vandalism at Michael Jackson's grave, includes this paragraph:

Photographs posted on the celebrity website TMZ.com showed the messages, including “Miss you sweet angel!” and “Keep the dream alive.”

(Incidentally, Forest Lawn is cleaning the graffiti up - this obviously isn't Jim Morrison's grave.)

But look at what the so-called "real journalists" do - in cooperation with two television stations, a newspaper article relies on a website as a primary source of information.

PasadenaNow can do that easily.

P.S. In case you noticed something wrong with the title of this post, do your research.
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