Friday, August 21, 2009

The Best — or Worst — of Both Worlds

The Flint Journal has adopted an intriguing editorial style. The Ed Board takes a news story and inserts editorial comments in italics into the copy. Here's an example from a story/editorial on possible cuts in Flint Amtrak service.

FLINT, Michigan -- It looks like the state budget battle could derail our local Amtrak service.

As the Legislature hammers its way out of a multibillion-dollar deficit, a proposed 20 percent cut could mean drastic changes to two of the state's taxpayer-funded routes.

FJ: This would be a mistake, even for a service that is a chronic money-loser. That's because the key word is "service," which the dictionary defines as "a system supplying a public need, such as transport, communications or utilities. ..."

Even the brightest budget scenario slices $1.4 million from Amtrak -- which requires about $7 million to operate the local Blue Water line from Port Huron to Chicago and the Pere Marquette line from Grand Rapids to Chicago, said John Langdon of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers.

The governor also proposed removing the seven-day-a-week service requirement, he said.

FJ: Compromise on traditional service plans is a bitter pill sometimes, but it beats not being in existence. Take it from a former seven-day institution that is building its future around three days a week in print, and a creative mix of other media.
Strange. Very strange.


  1. I hate Hate Hate this...
    Did I mention How Much I hate This?!?

  2. This seems like pure laziness to me. They can't even take the time to write an editorial using info from the the actual article. No offense, but this seems like some sort of blogging experiment.

    I know newspapers are hurting, but this crap doesn't make me want to read the Journal.

  3. The print FJ was linearly structured; readers progressed through the key news stories before they got to the Editorial Page.

    It looks to me as if the FJ has recognized that their funky website doesn't similarly guide users to read the news before the editorials, and is trying to figure out what to do about it.

  4. JWilly. I can't read it anymore. It's a puzzle. You got it right. Sable Pelt.."Blogging experiment". I think your on to something. I call it, shake rattle and roll editorializing. unclebuck

  5. Let us pause a moment and consider the utter stupidity that rules the Journal today.

    There is no talent left there, drained off years ago, so why would anyone expect good judgment or even solid journalism?

    Some of those clowns were there when I was there 20 years ago ... the only difference now is their rubber noses are a brighter shade of red and their floppy shoes are a higher grade of leather. What they're doing here is just a variation on squirting water from a plastic daisy.

    As for the managing editor, yeah, I remember him ... and I'm stil laughing.

  6. it's crap 'journalism', worthy of fox, or faux, news(gawd, that makes me bring up bile every time I use those two words together in a sentence), and even tagging it as 'editorial' is a load of crap. and damn it Doug! quit sugar coating it, would Ya?! but, even if it's's our only crap. Maybe a coup would be appropriate? a few discretionary executions in the parking ramp, display the heads on the Flint sign over Saginaw St....


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at