Wick Communications

This week’s missed opportunity

In Ideas on July 16, 2015 at 1:07 pm

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Sometimes I worry that this blog comes off smug, as if I have the answer to turning a legacy media outfit into a digital superhero. That I deign to come down from the mount each Friday to present The Word on a self-satisfied platter.

Hardy, har, har. What a laugh.

Truth is, I learn more of what I don’t know every week. And a week doesn’t go by that I don’t think of something we could have done better at Wick generally, or at the Half Moon Bay Review more specifically.

Take this week. A beloved bookstore announced it was closing after 30-something years in town. Where once we had five or six independent bookstores in town, soon we will have only two. The store-closing was the talk of the town. …

Five on Faith

In Reporting on July 16, 2015 at 1:01 pm

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Want to see what good, interesting, non-judgmental, inclusive, local religion coverage looks like? Stroll on over to willistonherald.com.

Last week, the newspaper and website initiated what Editor Mike Hickman hopes will be a long series of Q&As with religious leaders. He’s calling it “Five on Faith.”

“We are reaching the long-time residents, but we’re having a hard time reaching the new people in town and one way we thought we might get to them is through their faith,” Hickman told me. “There are a ton of churches here. We have four Christian radio stations. Religion is as big as oil here.”

That is reason enough. Thousands of people go to church in Williston every Sunday. Why would you ignore that? Unfortunately, usually local newspapers do a really crummy job covering religion. Too often it is simply a column by a fire-breathing preacher that is as often as not stolen from the Internet and as apt to turn people away as attract them to your newspaper. The trick is do make the coverage unique and interesting. …

Body image and the press

In journalism on July 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm

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Boy, did The New York Times step into a swamp with what I at first thought a fairly benign story on Serena Williams, female athletes and body image.

The story quoted several professional tennis players who said they refused to lift weights and work on greater strength training necessary to combat the juggernaut that is Williams. Williams, of course, is perhaps greatest tennis player of all time. She has a famously powerful build and it’s easy to assume that build has something to do with the power she generates. So why don’t her competitors take steps to increase their own power through weight-training and so on?

It turns out that at least some of them are afraid they will lose their girlish figures. That is quite a statement from enlightened professional women in the year 2015.

The Times story appeared below the fold, buried in sports. It wasn’t a long story. It felt kind of perfunctory, to me. The response was vitriolic, however.

Hundreds of readers took the newspaper to task for failing to challenge the stereotypes or that a female athlete should be some kind of delicate flower. …

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