Sinking in a Sea of Mediocrity

Sinking in a Sea of Mediocrity

Provided by Michael Nighan

One of our media critics, Michael J. Nighan, has drawn attention to the decline of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, especially in Raving Nighan skewers the Democrat and Chronicle: The Ravin’ ; (with apologies to A.E. Poe) and Is Public Input to the D&C a Dead Letter? and A New Low for the D & C

Today he offers:

Sinking in a Sea of Mediocrity

The decline of professional journalism (and good taste) at the Democrat and Chronicle continues apace. With evaporating staff and declining subscriber rolls, and the accelerating shift from solid news to fluff and filler on their Facebook page, the D&C has become little more than a corporate clone through the constant usage of generic cut-and-past click bait sent out from Gannett HQ. The only area for “personalization” being the descriptive headers to the stories which are left up to the judgment, or lack thereof, of the paper’s editors.

Case in point. The other day, Gannett sent out an article about a young couple who had decided to quit their jobs and use their savings to buy, refurbish and sail away on a 28 foot sailboat. Sadly for them, on the second day of their trip they ran aground off Tampa Bay, lost the boat and everything they owned, and ended up on the hook for the $10,000 it will cost to remove their boat from the bottom of the navigation channel. The recklessness of their adventure aside, surely they should be able to expect at least compassion and empathy from the media. Yet how did the D&C elect to headline this story?

A titanic mistake. This boat is no longer a liquid asset.


A nautical guy, Nighan can empathize with the sinking of the sailboat. From A New Low for the D & C

You’re a class act guys.

(NOTE: Speaking of the Titanic, the slow but steady sinking of the D&C has claimed another victim. Daniel Norselli, who came aboard just 19 months ago as president, vowing to change the perception of the D&C as “just a newspaper” — as if being “just a newspaper” was something to be ashamed of  — will be leaving the Gannett organization this week, “to pursue other opportunities,” well-known corporate-speak for having been thrown over the side.)


Raving Nighan skewers the Democrat and Chronicle: The Ravin’ (with apologies to E.A. Poe)

Is Public Input to the D&C a Dead Letter? by 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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