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02 December 2008

Comments

Jeff Pelline

gimme a break. i'm no fan of MBAs but this reflects institutional bias. nobody knows how to construct comfy compensation packages like SOME ex-UC professors. and nobody has more disdain for MBAs than SOME Ph.D's who studied outside of any competitive fray. spend a little more time in the private sector (beyond consulting gigs) before you pass judgment on others.

Russ Steele

Jeff,

I think you have misjudged this blog writer's private business experience. You might want to do a little more fact checking.

Jeff Pelline

Russ,
Thanks for the head's up but I have.

George Rebane

Jeff brings to bear the same quality of background and fact checking that is to be found in his newspaper. For the interested reader, a short version of my bio is in the 'About' section of this blog and also on sesfoundation.org. My years spent in the private sector total about 45 with less than ten of those being a private consultant. All my university studies, teaching, and lecturing were an add-on while working in the private sector.

Jeff Pelline

We all know George's bio. That's not the point. In fact, nobody will forget the day 2/8/08, when George read his bio aloud (I forget whether it was the long or short version) to a group that had come to discuss economic development in our county, rather than listen to his bio. George likes to knock The Union at any chance, but I suspect the paper's 144-year history as a going concern outstrips the "big aerospace firm," "small think tank company," "two other high-tech companies," etc. that are mentioned in his short bio. I'm glad he mentions the institutions of higher learning by name (UCLA being the one that resonates most).

Russell

Jeff,

The Union has been under the management of multiple managers over the years, and if i understand your claim, they were all superior managers. They were insightful and forward thinking. I guess that is why they were so slow to adjust to the Internet, and still resist adopting to link journalism. I am assuming that it not the management at the Union, but the folks at Swift holding you back, forcing you to maintain your stove pipe management of reader resources. Your story on Fresh and Easy, you could have linked to the Fresh and Easy web site, you could have linked to the Tesco PLC web site, giving the Union readers a rich depth of information about the companies coming to our community. just a thought!

Jeff Pelline

Russ,
You have a "stovepipe point of view." Why would the print version of a newspaper want to include a URL for the Fresh & Easy Web site? "Oh, let me put down my newspaper and go log onto the Fresh & Easy Web site." Huh? As for the Web version of the story, I did provide a link in the "reader's comment" section. (check it out). We do not have the resources to write two versions of the same story, providing embedded links for all the Web stories — one for print, one for the Web. How can you justify that effort when the Web product is free and the people who go to our Web site often don't subscribe to the print version or patronize our advertisers? How much support do you provide for your local newspaper? In fact, you brag about having canceled your print subscription. Here's some context: At CNET, we always provided links embedded in the story. But that was an online-only publication. You could take the time to do that under those circumstances. No doubt The Union has been under the management of multiple managers because, as one previous editor, told me: "This is like being a bouncer in a wild bar." The overwhelming majority of people in the community support the paper (Like the woman at our dinner tonight at "New Moon," who walked up to my wife, son and I and said thank you for the "economic bright spot: feature.") I hear that all the time. But the people who like to stand on the sideline and poke sticks, like you, are a real downer. This community doesn't know how lucky it is to have a newspaper that is the only source of original, local content - both as a "watchdog" and one that celebrates the community - not to mention all the money we give to nonprofits. Do you know of a local media that provides more diversity of opinion? KNCO? KVMR?YUBANET? Please. The latest example of our support for the community: The annual hospice "celebration of lives" event tonight at the sierra christian church, sponsored by The Union and, in this case, my wife and I. I never see you at fundraising events. I never see you sponsoring an event at the hospital or hospice. On you blog, I often see mistakes that you draw lines though when you correct. "Oops, my bad." Those kind of errors are taken more seriously in a newsroom. "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Sorry. Just a thought?

Russ Steele

Jeff,

You mean like screwing up the information about the ERC Board Meeting in the paper! Those kind of errors? I am only one individual doing blogging as a hobby, no staff or no pay checks. I guess people expect more from a paid professional in an organization that sell their product. Yes, I make error and when I do the correction goes on the front page. Where does the Union hide their errors? Really? Oh?

Jeff Pelline

Russ,
The Union makes very few errors given the amount of copy it handles with a staff of its size. It also corrects them promptly. I see many more errors on your site and whenever they are called out, you blame on the fact that you're not a paid professional. Well, guess what? That's not really an excuse, especially given the magnitude and frequency of them. No professional would want to make errors like that. Don't you want to build credibility when it comes to your views on global warming, economic development or link journalism? The Union also practices "link journalism" regularly. The latest example being Laura Brown's articles about pending off-road vehicle regulations. In the article, she links - both in print and online - to the pending regulations. We do this all the time: link to public documents that are *relevant* to a subject to provide more context. We do it in entertainment stories: linking to the event page (the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, for example). There's a difference between that and providing "naked" links — often just to hijack traffic — or links that don't provide context. We learned that at CNET: You can't link to Microsoft.com in your example. You need to link to the *relevant information.* As for "naked" links, anyone is able to post a blog on The Union's Web site and has.

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