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Sep 2005 / media shoegaze :: email this story to a friend

News About the News
By Amanda E. Doyle

Biting Back

In response to a letter to the editor from one Rene Spencer Saller, Riverfront Times head honcho Tom Finkel penned a relatively unprecedented "Editor's Note," in which he, in a roundabout anecdote, accused Saller of sour grapes, of "ferrying dog turds down the street" in her golden years post-RFT. (Saller, astute readers will remember, is the former music editor for the paper). She had written in criticizing an unflattering portrayal of local legend Jay Farrar by reporter Ben Westhoff, and although countless people write in every week complaining about one RFT writer or another (but usually Rose Martelli), Finkel evidently couldn't let this one go by without responding. Poor form, we think: it's not "Letters from the Editor." After all, he gets the whole paper every week to share his take on things.

Big Small-Town Paper?

Just over a week after Pulitzer and its flagship Post-Dispatch came under the official aegis of Lee Enterprises, the above-the-fold story screaming out of the Sunday, June 12, front page (in larger-than-masthead point size), was "SHOPPING: IT'S A GUY THING?" I mean, c'mon, people! We're not the New York Times here, but the Post is the paper of record for a still-major metropolitan area. Readers fretted that maybe this was a sign of things to come, as Lee promised "more local news" as one of its anticipated changes to the paper.

And if you care, the story's graphics reveal that men shop for a purpose, not as entertainment, and women respond to more creative store layouts. Ohhhhhh.


In the "is this really what they meant?" department, the Post-Dispatch's affiliated website ran a laugh-inducing headline/deck over the Labor Day weekend, and I'm sad to have to paraphrase slightly since I don't yet possess screen-capture skills.

The headline was definitely:

Law helps fewer mentally ill kids than expected

And the deck went like this:

Sen. Michael Gibbons (R-Kirkwood), who pushed for law, is pleased with results

And some Republicans must surely wonder where they get the reputation as cold-hearted...

Movin' on Up:

The scrappy little paper that could, the West End Word, has expanded its coverage area and now distributes 22,500 copies each week; its editorial scope includes the neighborhoods of University City, Clayton, Richmond Heights, Downtown, Midtown, Brentwood and, of course, the Central West End. "City living from the Arch to the Innerbelt" and all. But the best upgrade of all is the paper's new and improved website, where you can read headlines (updated regularly in between issues), read new issues online, search archives, e-mail stories to friends (though those last two features look to have some kinks yet to be worked out) and more.

New Citizens of the Blogosphere

Also over at, the new blogs homepage has converted some former online columns (e.g. Shop Talk into a blog format, and added some others, ranging from a quasi-ombudsman-like area called "Editor's Desk" to an "Adopt-a-Pet" section. As with everything else related to news in this town, early returns have shown the sports blogs to be the most prolific, and the blog titled "Uncategorized" — already a bad idea — was all sports the last time I checked. I bleed as blue as the next gal...oh, no, wait, I don't. What is up with people who are obsessed with sports? You confuse me.

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