Friday, October 24, 2008


PAPER TRAINING: The local paper The Garden Island (uh-oh- you know there’s trouble if we’re actually mentioning their name) has been a subject of ridicule for years, exhibiting all the journalistic acumen of a slug and a propensity for self–censorship and self-promotion only an advertiser could love- or would fall for.

So when their headline yesterday blared “Kauai Publishing and TGI nominated for Enterprise of the Year” instant skepticism was the coin of the realm and, as expected, that cynicism was handsomely rewarded upon perusal.

Who the heck would give them an award?. Why, their parent company, Lee Enterprises.

And what for? Certainly not for journalism but because they have:

“excelled in key measures of our business, and all drove exceptionally strong revenue or cash flow in a tough year by delivering outstanding service to customers and results to advertisers”.

Kinda says it all. Consider yourself “serviced”- and we all know how painful that can be. And while we’re getting screwed, the only beneficial results are for the advertisers.

And even though they haven’t actually won the uncoveted award they decided to congratulate themselves in a side splitting display of underwhelming promotion.

The announcement of their being a “finalist” for the dubious achievement of a being nominated by their bosses for an award- not for doing a good job of being a newspaper but for making money- was meaningless enough.

But further comment from Publisher Mark Lewis in congratulating himself for not yet winning an award from daddy for being such an industrious kid- replete with grinning color photo- self-servingly delivered a punch line all it’s own.

“Over the last two years we have been reinventing ourselves to be more customer-driven and focused which allows us to provide better services and greatly improve our online product,” said Kauai Publishing Co. Publisher Mark Lewis....

Accomplishments of Kauai Publishing cited in the nomination announcement include, “innovative sales and promotional programs, increased market share, circulation growth and a doubling of online revenue.”

Nothing in the area of actual reporting or coherency or any of those other things that would make it a real newspaper Just a pretzel twisting pat on his own back for their wonderful new cookie-cutter on-line template used by papers across the country.

At their new and improved web site there’s no new on-line content, although the “comments” section at least occasionally seems to work now. But there is one “innovative” feature that actually makes it one of the most annoying newspaper sites around- the lurching articles.

Seems that in their attempt to use the new software to finally bring some photos to the site nobody bothered to check what putting revolving dissimilar-sized photos on the page does to the text.

As the photos alternate, the words on the page move around like Mexican jumping beans but apparently none of potential award winning staff can figure out how to make the potential award winning innovation work properly.

And the new design is a double threat- not only is it impossible to read, but it has challenged the Honolulu Advertiser for the title slowest loading news site in the state... if not the country.

Even when owned by Pulitzer TGI has never been a prize winner. But the current bunch of incompetents have certainly preserved and perpetuated the apparent motto of their predecessors- if there’s no news that makes you and your advertisers look good, manufacture some.


Unknown said...

Oh my, thanks for clearing all that up for me.. For a moment I was confused. I thought they actually won something. Then, when I was reading the new website, I thought I needed new bifocals and my eye site was worsening.

Katy said...

It's an incredibly annoying site. And it seems they now post fewer local news articles on the site than they used to, along with more celebrity fluff crap.