“It happened to quickly for me to be able to do anything. I was like wow hope this turns out alright,” says Kincaid.
Wesley just hopes the driver learns a lesson as this could have been much worst.
That’s some cringe-worthy work, right there. Between writing that looks like it came from the pen of a 12-year old and the total lack of editing, this post is a train wreck. The worst part (and, yes, that’s the correct use of “worst”)? This happens every day on this site and many others like it.
How do news organizations expect to be taken seriously and viewed as trustworthy sources when their copy reads like a high-school newspaper? If a media outlet can’t manage to offer better content than this, then why should I believe they’re a reliable reporting source?
If a news site doesn’t respect its readers enough to clean up its copy before pressing the Publish button, then I can only assume they don’t actually care about what dreck they’re offering. If they care so little about putting a somewhat professional face on their content, I can easily assume there’s nothing else professional their journalistic integrity either.
I’m aware that this kind of content is actually a symptom of a larger problem motivated by news organizations simply trying to stay afloat in a rapidly changing industry. (Read: An industry that’s falling apart at the speed of light.) Bad writing and under-reported stories are an indication that a news outlet is cutting corners at the staffing level and hiring inexperienced or inept journalists. Simply put, they can’t afford to bring in writers and editors who can do better.
That’s the crux of why I give a damn if my local news outlets suck. It means news organizations are cutting budgets to the bone just to stay alive and readers are paying the price. As somewhat of an insider to the publishing industry, I can tell you definitively that readers are part of the problem.
We’re forcing actual journalists to compete with citizen journalists. We make actual news outlets compete with sites where breaking news appears as it happens. However, I’m not trying to debate why professional news sites are in an editorial shambles. Changing the tide is another post altogether.
When I see sites like WTSP and other local outlets put out crap stories like this I know they’ve given up. They’re not even trying to be professional or offer credible work. They’re just phoning it in and that’s a pretty heartbreaking thing to see.
I’ve picked on WTSP before and probably will again because they are such egregious offenders. It’s just so frustrating to see the utter crap they put out under the guise of “news.” I realize I could just stop visiting the site instead of hate-reading it all the time but there aren’t a lot of local news outlets left anymore. I could vote with my clicks and go to Twitter or Patch for my local news but then I’m part of the problem. I want to support real news sites.
So, what’s the answer? I have no earthly idea, but the question kind of makes me queasy.
To be clear: I will be the first to admit that I make plenty of mistakes while writing my copy. Indeed, this post will probably have several. This blog isn’t part of a news organization, though, whose success relies on being a trusted, reputable voice. I am thrilled that my professional writing gets run past the eyeballs of professional editors who clean things up and make writers like me look professional and sound smart.
Image: Kate Ter Haar