Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Improving The News-Press

Mike at Franklin Avenue has written a detailed post on the shortcomings of the Glendale News-Press, and makes a number of positive suggestions to make the paper more relevant. He ties the post to his astonishment that the deeply unhip News-Press made no mention of Lux Interior's death in Glendale last week.

Not only did Lux die here in Glendale, but he and wife/fellow Cramps member Poison Ivy lived right here in Adams Hill. The GNP is such a small-town newspaper that it runs photos of people holding up the newspaper on vacation, yet it can't be bothered with the death of a local icon. Blogs and newspapers all over the country mentioned his death in Glendale. But the hometown newspaper? Nothing.

So on to the GNP. Yes, it's a small-town newspaper... but Glendale isn't exactly a small town. It's a city with a population of 207,000. Take Glendale away from the L.A. region and it would be big enough to support a full newspaper, as well as TV and radio stations. (At least before the economic collapse; but I'm comparing it to smaller cities like Rockford or Duluth, both of which support a slew of media outlets.)

Criticizing a newspaper in this dismal media climate feels like kicking a disabled baby, but literally and figuratively, the News-Press is square and thin. I read it every day, particularly Jason Wells' and Veronica Rocha's coverage of City Hall and public safety, but I want more.

If you don't think Glendale is underserved by the media, search Google News for "Glendale" and note that the overwhelming majority of Glendale news stories relate to...Glendale, Arizona (population 247,000). Our Glendale (population 210,000) is barely mentioned.


Anna said...

wow, that is a good point. i had assumed that glendale AZ is a much bigger city from google hits.

AVN said...

Part of the news-search problem is that Glendale News-Press headlines aren't written with the Internet in mind. In fact most of GNP's headlines don't even include the search keyword "Glendale." Compare:

Headlines in Glendale News-Press:
* Weekend fights tie up police
* Grant funding up to council
* Farmers market tries to weather lull

Headlines in The Arizona Republic:
* Glendale police issue 30 tickets in rail-crossing crackdown
* 10 tidbits on Glendale's new ballpark
* 16-year-old dies after crashing into parked car in Glendale

Also, The Arizona Republic covers a greater geography and is journalistically disposed to put the name of a city and/or neighborhood in the headline.

Scott said...

Good point, AVN. But beyond the thin coverage in the GNP, how many Glendale stories regularly appear in the LAT or Daily News?

AVN said...

I'm not saying these hits are all relevant or newsworthy articles, but "glendale" does appear 430,000 times on latimes.com:


urban pirate said...

the GNP is something that always bugged me about Glendale. It's such a crappy newspaper filled with some really stupid stuff..do we really need to know about the hot lunches at the local schools? probably not considering there are plenty more things to report on. glendale is not a small town, it's a city and for the size of it, it really has no news coverage unless something catastrophic occurs. half the people i know don't even know about Glendale, which i find weird since it's a huge place..when the GNP does report on community affairs, it's completely lackluster..your blog is ten times more interesting than the GNP which is why i like reading it.

Scott said...

The LAT has the community papers link to the GNP in many of its page templates, those plus autogenerated pages from "The Guide" account for the majority of the hits.

Searching through recent articles yields no substantive mention of Glendale for the last several weeks.

Interestingly, via the google link you can read a large number of older articles that are otherwise hidden behind the LAT archive search pay wall.

AVN said...

Oh yeah, did I neglect to mention how much the LA Times website sucks too? Where's a good content strategist when you need one.

Jeff Lowe said...

I hope the GNP doesn't deteriorate like the Daily Breeze in the South Bay. In a service area with almost 500,000, one local story on the front page, decent local sports but all the rest is filler from AP and other non-local sources. Don't get me started about the dedicated Faith section on weekends...aaargh. Never more than 20 pages on Mondays without fail.

Skrip said...

oh Glendale, so much to answer for. Lived there from 1995 to 2001. It is a very large city and most people do not know this unless they actually see how big it is on a map.

I moved out before the Americana was started. I was in downtown, loved my condo. I should've bought a house there, but ended up over here 1/2 a block from the end of the L.A. County line. Of course, I got this house dirt cheap for what I would've paid in Glendale.

cool blog though, brings back memories.