Your "point of view" articles suck

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Fat.The.Gangster
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Your "point of view" articles suck

Postby Fat.The.Gangster » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:05 pm

Seriously, do the existing (and dwindling number of) editors at this rag even bother to read the execrable offerings on display on this site and in their pages?

First, we had a meandering article about one "intrepid" reporter's removed and bland observations about a pub crawl. Only, instead of actually participating in said crawl or interviewing its participants, the reporter, a self-professed teetotaler and middle-aged voyeur, made note of the private conversations taking place around him. What was the point? Where was the insight? Pertinent analysis? Larger context? I logged my complaints here and received a rather snotty remark by the writer to keep reading the Isthmus.

Next, we enjoyed one reporter's musings on the offerings at a restaurant, or, more precisely, what would have been available had the reporter called ahead and inquired about the hours. Instead of a piece about the local flavors at a new pub, we received a cumbersome article about fried food and the author's lament at not being able to sample the full menu. Again, what could the reader gain in reading this piece? I logged my complaints here and at least received some explanation about the story's genesis and existence.

Finally, today we are tasked with reading this humorless claptrap from the usually estimable Bill Lueders wherein he offers a strained view of his evening at a local bar. Like the other pieces appearing on this site and in the paper, Lueders offers no insight or context for his piece, relying instead on whatever the reader brings to bear on the circumstances. Worse yet, Mr. Lueders fails to follow his own insights, delivered recently at a conference to highlight why we should continue to read print newspapers:

"Here’s a simple way to educate yourself about the art of newspaper reporting: Go to any event in your community that you know will be covered in the paper. It can be a debate, a day of court testimony, a press conference, a Rotary event, even a baseball game. Pay close attention and take copious notes. Then go home and write up a story about what you’ve just seen. The next day, compare what you’ve written to the story that appears in the paper. I guarantee you’ll have a new level of respect for newspaper reporters."

Would that Mr. Lueders had actually followed his own advice and supplied a level of detail and veracity missing from the most common vantage point. Instead, we read about the banter between patrons who, like the participants in the pub crawl, do nothing to advance or enhance the story. Just perfunctory conversation. Then, he ends the column with a few bland comments about the aspirations of participatory democracy.

So what gives, Isthums? Do you really have the resources to keep reporters going on these boondoggles in an attempt to fill the pages and sap bandwidth with fluff? Won't you please take Mr. Lueders at his word (and not his deeds) and assign some serious reporters to cover some serious issues. I am tired of reading this tripe and wish that you could aspire to cover important matters "to the death" as your masthead advises.

Shipley
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Postby Shipley » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:15 pm

why do I feel like I dodged a bullet?

depinmad
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Postby depinmad » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:21 pm

i liked the lueders piece. the others, not so much.

thebookpolice
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Postby thebookpolice » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:30 pm

I laughed a couple times at Lueders' piece. I suppose it would be picking nits to point out that it wasn't written for the newspaper, but for the website.

Biggest laugh comes from my boy Zac, however, who provides the perfect staccato offkey note after such a languorous largo of lament.

Shipley
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Postby Shipley » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:34 pm

I tell it like it is. My vote is decided, and I was going to hear hours of reruns and debate analysis anyway, so I decided to rock the mic instead. Friday night is a friday night. I'm not going to live forever.

Fat.The.Gangster
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Postby Fat.The.Gangster » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:50 pm

Shipley wrote:why do I feel like I dodged a bullet?


What needs to be said about a grown man who spends his time reviewing video games?

Kenneth Burns
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Re: Your "point of view" articles suck

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:08 pm

Fat.The.Gangster wrote:First, we had a meandering article about one "intrepid" reporter's removed and bland observations about a pub crawl. Only, instead of actually participating in said crawl or interviewing its participants, the reporter, a self-professed teetotaler and middle-aged voyeur, made note of the private conversations taking place around him. What was the point? Where was the insight? Pertinent analysis? Larger context? I logged my complaints here and received a rather snotty remark by the writer to keep reading the Isthmus.


I'm surprised to see you reviving this topic after nearly a year and a half, but for the record:

1) You raised my being gay as somehow relevant to my journalistic qualifications. That was hurtful.

2) Nevertheless, in the thread you link to I expressed gratitude for all the feedback about the article, including yours. I take it seriously.

3) I really do hope you and all our readers keep reading, even if you don't like everything we print.
Last edited by Kenneth Burns on Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alfred McDougal
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Postby Alfred McDougal » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:10 pm

What do you expect? Thedailypage dot com is essentially tabloid entertainment for Madison area liberals. Local libs enjoy hating on people they look down upon. What's new?

What did Luders expect to see in a dive bar besides an opportunity to characterize red necks? Wow, that's original. Anyone who publishes what they witness while observing drunk people slurring words at a TV is clearly bored to tears.

Fat.The.Gangster
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Re: Your "point of view" articles suck

Postby Fat.The.Gangster » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:27 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:I'm surprised to see you reviving this topic after nearly a year and a half, but for the record:

1) You raised my being gay as somehow relevant to my journalistic qualifications. That was hurtful.

2) Nevertheless, in the thread you link to I expressed gratitude for all the feedback about the article, including yours. I take it seriously.

3) I really do hope you and all our readers keep reading, even if you don't like everything we print.


I apologized then and I will apologize now if my incidental remark about your sexual orientation insulted you. That was not my intention and certainly not my point. Instead, I used the description you presented of yourself to question why Isthmus would assign, or you would pitch, this rote dross. As I stated in the post, "My statement should be read, instead, to state that your lack of skill and insight--in addition to a crummy pitch or poor assignment--precluded the creation of an interesting article." How you thought a middle-aged man listening-in on other people's conversations would make a good piece is beyond me. Why you continue to defend that piece is more of a mystery.

It is true that I raised this issue more than a year ago. And yet, not a week goes by without the inclusion of some tired piece of "reporting" within these virtual or printed pages. I am asking Isthmus to elevate the level of discourse it produces.

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Re: Your "point of view" articles suck

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:33 pm

As I say, I take criticism seriously. I don't know what else to say.
Last edited by Kenneth Burns on Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fisticuffs
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Postby fisticuffs » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:43 pm

Fat. Stop reading the damn articles already. What the fuck is the point of all this shit?

Shipley
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Postby Shipley » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:53 pm

Fat.The.Gangster wrote:
Shipley wrote:why do I feel like I dodged a bullet?


What needs to be said about a grown man who spends his time reviewing video games?


Oh! There it is!

I suppose I could defend this as my hobby or point out that the average gamer is over 30, but that is beside the point, which is.

This rag pays me to talk about video games, and you have to complain about it for free.

Fat.The.Gangster
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Postby Fat.The.Gangster » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:59 pm

fisticuffs wrote:Fat. Stop reading the damn articles already. What the fuck is the point of all this shit?


The editors at the Isthmus are wasting my time and your time by producing this pablum. I am asking them to improve their product by taking a look at the types of stories they provide. I have a choice to exercise when selecting my reading materials and I want to continue to support a local publication. They are making it very difficult to read and support this publication when they fill the pages with fluff.

Perhaps also, you would kindly follow the same advice you implore of me, and stop reading this post.

Fat.The.Gangster
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Postby Fat.The.Gangster » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:01 pm

Shipley wrote:
Fat.The.Gangster wrote:
Shipley wrote:why do I feel like I dodged a bullet?


What needs to be said about a grown man who spends his time reviewing video games?


Oh! There it is!

I suppose I could defend this as my hobby or point out that the average gamer is over 30, but that is beside the point, which is.

This rag pays me to talk about video games, and you have to complain about it for free.


Or you could infer from my post that I, like the majority of Isthmus readers, skip over the ravings of a man-child who loves to talk about his toys.

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Postby jjoyce » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:04 pm

Re: The Lueders piece.

The context is pretty plainly stated in the first two paragraphs. He was thinking of watching the debate at some predictable downtown/near-east watering hole but instead opted for a bar on the north side owned by a conservative county board supervisor, in hopes of finding a slightly more conservative audience.

When you do stuff like this, you never know what you're actually going to get and Bill got a curve ball early, when Wiggy himself wasn't at Wiggies, and neither was anyone who really had any interest in watching the debate.

Maybe you didn't find it funny (others did). Maybe you didn't see the point (others did). But complaining that it lacked context doesn't really make sense. Reading it to the end reveals a sharp commentary.


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