Fly on the Wall 1565 

Dammit, Gannett

To expand on an idea put forward by the poet John Donne, every newspaper's typos diminish me.

And yet it's at least somewhat comforting to know that The Tennessean, the Nashville-based mothership of all Gannett-owned properties in the Volunteer State, can botch a headline just as badly as The Commercial Appeal. Check this beauty: "America has a hate and ingnorance problem."

click to enlarge flyby_fotw.jpg

On a somewhat-related note, all Gannett newspapers across the state of Tennessee have run remarkably similar editorials announcing that they "are listening" and developing new strategies for kinder, gentler opinion journalism.

The new plan includes less national political commentary and "more about solutions than takedowns of the people and organizations trying to do things," whatever that means.

While presented as a modernization plan, with solid points about the unsigned editorial becoming a relic from the glory days when newspapers had weight to throw around, it's never been journalistically wise to allow public interests to determine public interest.

The only people Gannett's editorial boards are listening to right now are bean counters reminding them that print subscriptions and advertising are plummeting, and digital sales can't grow fast enough to bridge the gap.

More solutions "than takedowns of the people and organizations trying to do things" has a sunny, boosterish tone, but since solutions don't arise until problems are identified, we can predict with some certainty that the new approach wasn't crafted with America's "hate and ingnorance" problem in mind.

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