The Miami Herald Staff Compares The Newspaper to a Flea Market

The Miami Herald staffers have a problem with Twitter. To clarify, they really have a problem with how the newspaper has used Twitter to fill coveted page space.

According to an internal memo board post, signed by 23 staffers, the group called out the newspaper’s management for using Twitter and fluff sports coverage on its front page to bolster sales.
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“We’re hoping to start a discussion about the quality of our front page, and the newspaper in general, by being blunt: We barely recognize it these days,” said the Miami Herald staff in the memo obtained by the New Times. Local news does not have to be shallow and cheesy. The readers who still buy our product aren’t buying it because they care what ‘Gordon Geck’ has to say. They buy it because they can read about what their city and county governments are doing in thoughtful prose.”

The memo also uses specific examples to bolster their points, like:

The Miami Herald, we would argue, is becoming the newspaper equivalent of open mike night. Or a flea market.

Last month, a very serious story about a 15-year-old girl and her mother … both killed by the teen’s older boyfriend … included a quote by someone named “ilagordita.” The quote… “There was absolutely nothing good that could have possibly come from this
relationship”… did not add any particular insight to the story. It was added, at the suggestion of an editor… in an effort to show the story was generating interest online.

The group also says it shouldn’t fall to its competitor, the Sun-Sentinel‘s level because of its “endless lists and tip-sheets.” That’s some strong language from the staff.

But, as newspapers react to the social media world, it’s likely that this debate will continue in newsrooms. Although, the debate seems a little less one-sided if you actually choose Twitter quotes that provide a sharp opinion and witty analysis. It also makes the addition on the front page a little easier to swallow.

Photo by jay8085