What's this blog really about?

You may notice a variety of topics here - from business, to charity promotion, even to local news, but the primary reason this blog was created was to alert readers to the hostile atmosphere and sexual harassment at The Danville Register & Bee. The readers and creator of this blog want a FULL FRONT PAGE apology in the Danville Register & Bee, plus the disciplining of those individuals involved. Until then, we'll continue to post regular updates. To tolerate THIS kind of behavior by a major media network is intolerable. And this isn't just ONE instance. Media General has been sued nationwide for racism and sexism, yet they CONTINUE to keep the offenders employed. Why? And why am I doing this? TRUTH compels me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Will convergence work?

Media General is relying on it's "convergence" journalism - the idea that combining resources and cutting an already lean newsroom, will result in better journalism. Pittsylvania County is the state's largest county and number one in how many ag related products? Yet - The Danville Register & Bee has little to no ag news. We're getting a $5 million ag complex here and the paper has done little or nothing on what that means to the area. Why? Advertising. No ads - no news.

But Agriculture is the number one industry and whether people like it or not, tobacco is still a pretty big deal here as well. So why isn't the newspaper covering any of this? One, because no one knows how to. Two, there's no money in it because farmers don't advertise and ag industries prefer niche publications. Three, because they simply don't have the staff. They don't have the budget to cover the mileage to and from the northern end of the county and have absolutely no plans to cover Hurt or Gretna - relying instead on Lynchburg to cover the news there.

They want your advertising dollars of course, but why should you advertise with The Register and Bee when the Star-Tribune is a better deal? Why is it a better deal? Your ad stays on the shelf for an entire week - not just one day. It's less expensive and is in the public eye longer.

More people read the Star-Tribune and even Danville residents are quitting their subscriptions (except for the ones who like getting national news and stories about sex and car wrecks every day) and subscribing to the Star-Tribune. You get more pages for the money and more local news.

Fewer reporters means less time to write, less time to cover things and less quality of content. My stories suffered and so do the other reporters. There's no time to fact check. Things the copy editors should be catching aren't getting caught. Look at the errors!

They fired or forced out all their photographers. Now reporters are expected to take pictures, shoot video and write and interview and not spend any more time than necessary to cover any event because they have so many events. The community is being asked to "HELP" report by being citizen journalists - not realizing that your FREE efforts help THEIR advertising revenue. If you're going to be a "citizen journalist" and write or blog about your community or sports, email me. I'll show you how you can make money doing it. Why work for free when you can make money for your organization?!

Finally - if Media General is so adamant about protecting and defending itself against the charges I've laid out here - then do you really want to do business with them? You all know the people who work there. How have they been treated? How have the carriers been treated? Lots of people have been forced out, fired, laid off - treated worse than stray dogs. There's no loyalty to their employees. NONE. Ask Richard Davis, or Julian Henderson, or anyone you know who has worked there. You won't find many who have anything good to say.

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