Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Commerical Appeal slays me once again

Here’s the letter to the editor I submitted to the local Memphis newspaper, The Commercial Appeal.

I resent the errors I have to read on a continual basis in your paper. I really do. You are the major local newspaper in the Mid-South. You have professional journalists getting paid for this. They went to school for this, I presume. And what do I get, content errors. I could live with some grammatical errors or typos from time to time, but can’t we at least get the content, the meat, correct?

I’ll start with Geoff Calkins' article today where he comes to praise Darius Miles and bury the Memphis Grizzlies (once again). Before Calkins points the finger at the Grizzlies organization for being, as he says, “It's terrible. Just awful. An increasingly hideous blend of mismatched parts and mishandled talent,” maybe he should look at the paper he works for.

Calkins wrote, “Especially the bit involving Miles, a former Portland lottery pick who has been at the center of a delicious little legal controversy.”

Seriously Mr. Calkins, you couldn’t get a basic fact about the centerpiece of your article right? It takes about, oh 5 minutes of research, to confirm that Miles was the 3rd pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the LA Clippers. It’s not like he was drafted by the Clippers and then shipped to Portland immediately. He played for the Clippers for 2 seasons and Cleveland for 1.5 more before he went to Portland. Most guys that cover the NBA on a regular basis would remember this, but hey, it’s somewhat obscure, so you’re okay to forget. But check the facts please. Maybe this isn’t your fault, maybe it’s the copy editor. Either way, some might say that “it’s terrible. Just awful.” However, I don’t think the problem is mishandled talent in this case.

I’m sure that the response would be that nobody’s perfect and that it’s just a minor slipup. But this isn’t the exception to the rule for The Commercial Appeal. If you read Ron Tillery’s column, “Grizzlies’ Mike Conley still on trading block” from Sunday, January 11, he originally misspelled former Tiger Chris Massie’s name (until I corrected him in the comments section). Once again, how much research would it take to get the name right? If you type Chris Massey into google, you get an actor born in 1990. If you type in Chris Massie, you get a basketball player. Is this really that complex?

I think my problem is that I hold your paper and your writers to a higher standard than you do. In an age when the newspaper industry is fighting with bloggers (like myself) for each reader’s attention span, the reason people come to you is because you are the professionals. You aren’t the guys that are doing this on the side, that treat it like a hobby. This is your full-time job, your livelihood. Can you please confirm that with a little more attention to detail?


Chris

2 comments:

Chris W. said...

Geoff Calkins thinks the Grizzlies suck. I had no idea! Do you think he gets as tired of phoning in the same article as we do reading it?

Brian said...

I just wanted to add another thing. Can someone tell Calkins to stop writing these articles where it appears he is having a conversation with himself? It's not entertaining, it's actually pretty annoying. I hate the CA and Calkins, and I'm really getting tired of him dumping on the only local pro franchise we have.