Over the weekend, I read what might be one of the funniest (and in an ironic way, insightful) comments posted on a local blog. I gotta talk about it . . .
PeaceArena.org: Comment by Ty posted on “What passes for journalism in Oklahoma”
Several things are quite interesting about this comment, so I thought I would dissect it paragraph by paragraph…
First of all, let me comment by saying that the newspaper is not “The Daily Oklahoman” and hasn’t been for a long while. It’s “The Oklahoman.” You’d think you could at least get the name right.
Who cares… most locals still call it the “Daily Oklahoman.”
I chuckle when I read blog like these because it makes me laugh how some people have this weird image that we’re this dark tower of evil. Granted, back in the “The Daily O” days, the newspaper was…. dare I say, crap. I was part of that bandwagon myself. Now I work for the company and see the change and am part of the change.
I agree things have improved, and I’ll agree that the change has been pretty dramatic.
But, the paper still commits HORRIBLE mistakes on a regular basis, as noted quite well in Rena’s post. I think it is quite interesting that you do not address the issue of Rena’s post. Her general criticisms of the Oklahoma were frankly sidenotes to the main story, that is that the Oklahoma slandered the peace community by their shoddy reporting.
Change doesn’t happen with a flick of a switch overnight… and no matter how much we change, there will always be unhappy people. “The Oklahoman” serves a broad audience across the state of Oklahoma, not just people in the OKC metro. You’d be surprised, but as much as people on the left scream foul, there are double that on the right who think we are too left. We are here to serve the community as a whole in the state of Oklahoma, not those on the extreme left or right and We are reflective of that. Believe it or not, there are people in the company who are very left in their political ideas.
I don’t doubt that. The Oklahoman today tends to have a centrist-Republican editorial stance. But it is by no means a moderate source when compared to the rest of us Oklahomans who are not Republicans.
There have been many changes and even current ongoing progressive changes to the company which includes our editorial staff and how we write and finding new ways to reach new audiences and to give these new audiences information that they want. Although “The Oklahoman” is still OPUBCO’s flagship product, it is increasingly going to become a smaller product as we push into moving into niche products to cater directly to smaller audiences and to push our digital strategies, to become Oklahoma’s source of media and information.
That last sentence, man oh man, that is creepy. I could understand OPUBCO wanting to be the “best” or the “largest” source of media, but to say it will become “THE” source of information sounds like that the Oklahoman wants to be the only media outlet. Surely, you don’t mean that do you? Or is this a freudian slip of OPUBCO’s real strategies?
What if I told you that “The Oklahoman” is now considered to be one of the most progressive and forward thinking newspapers in the country by it’s size and even compared to larger newspapers, in the business? What if I said that we’ve invested in digital strategies and technologies in the last 2 years to reach and cater to niche audiences and to give the most relevant and accurate information and that will continue to become better as we grow and progress? What if I told you we’ve taken great lengths in the last 2 years to change and evaluate our editorial processes and how we can better report the news?
Yeah, there are some very positive developments with OPUBCO, the best being the functions that allow ordinary folks to post stories to your website. I also appreciate the greater efforts to reflect the diversity of Oklahoma in media coverage. I especially am appreciative of the Religion section that tends to be pretty fair-handed in its coverage.
I’m bringing this up to say I’m not blind to the positive developments of the Oklahoman, when I criticize the paper. The story on the Westboro protests at Tinker SUCKED. BAD. If you don’t see this, then you need to get out of journalism.
I’m sure none of that really means a thing because, until we switch from being a supposed “right supporting newspaper” to another mouthpiece for the left, people on the left side of the fence will always complain can call foul to our secret “right-wing agenda.”
Oh yes… you got us. You’ve found out our secret plans! Yes, we have secret meetings with Sally Kern and others on the right and come up with ways to screw over Oklahomans. Yes, we sit around on the table with powerfull republicans and find ways to screw minorities and homosexuals.
We also like to club baby seals and kick prairie dogs, because we’re the Oklahoman. Yeah…
I appreciate the sarcasm. It was quite funny. I just wish you would put that intelligence into rereading Rena’s post (and while you are at it, read my prior post on this, and Kurt’s post at Okiefunk.com on this too) and then offering a cogent response to the points we made.