A New Low for the D&C by Michael Nighan

A New Low for the D&C by Michael Nighan

mother's day

D & C facebook page, 4/28/16 [provided by Michael Nighan]

You met Michael in 1860/1912 Reux? Today Michael sent his opinion of a caption that appeared on the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle facebook page.

We welcome all valid opinions.

A New Low for the D&C

Back in 2012, ostensibly to fund upgrades to their online presence, the Powers That Be at the D&C jacked up their print edition subscription rates  by an incredible 33%.


Michael Nighan

Apparently one of those “upgrades” was the transformation of the captions that appeared on the paper’s Facebook page from something which helped to encapsulate what the story was about, to short, cutesy(and assumedly intended to be humorous) journalistic sound bites. (That many such captions have contained misspellings, typos and other examples of poor editing is accepted as business as usual at the D&C.) But this morning (April 28), whoever on the staff writes and edits the Facebook captions sank to a new low.

Above the article, “Man convicted of killing grandmother,” which described the jury verdict in the trial of  Donkish Lesane, the man accused of beating his grandmother to death and then setting her house on fire, the D&C staffer(s), tone deaf to any consideration of good taste or journalistic professionalism, tried to be funny by appending the caption, “He’s not invited to Mother’s Day”!

This unimaginably tacky line was subsequently withdrawn, without comment or apology. But not before a snapshot of the offensive comment (attached) were posted by outraged members of the public.

That the D&C Facebook page has been slowly sinking in a sea of trivialities and fluff, poorly-disguised as “news”, is undeniable. But a misjudgment of this magnitude demands that heads roll and that their senior management, from Publisher Michael Kane to VP Karen Magnuson to Senior “Engagement” Editor Julie Philipp take a long, hard look at the direction that they’ve set for this once proud newspaper.

Michael Nighan

1860/1912 Redux? from Michael Nighan


About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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