The Only Thing I Read in the Local Paper (A Bit of a Rant)

The Portsmouth Herald is a friggin joke.

There, I said it and I’m not taking it back. Pardon me while I go on a rant here.

I don’t care how many ‘awards’ they win, their news coverage is atrocious. I like a good hard news lead in. Thats what captures my attention. A good solid headline to grab hold and make you want to buy it. I’m a big believer in the all but forgotten integrity of the printed word, the news reporters out there investigating real news, solid stories that grip your imagination and inform you not only on the big headline, but the minutiae of the story. I used to read the paper every day…but never the local paper.

The Portsmouth Herald has been a joke for years now. I can’t count how many times it has let me down. No lie and I’m definitely not making this up, their idea of news has verged on tabloid / Access Hollywood style. Lots of flash that quickly runs out of gas. Who cares if some consenting adults are having sex parties at their private residence? Did you really need to do an investigative report on them and name them on the cover of your newspaper? What kind of Puritan shaming was that? And on a day when we had major flooding in this state, your choice for a headline was a cat stuck in a tree?? Really? That was the hot button topic of the news room? And anytime anyone local does anything, you seem to think it’s front page news! On a day when the US reported the hugest job loss report in ages, your cover story was a human interest bio on a mentally challenged man who was finally getting his first job?

Sidenote: I have nothing against the mentally challenged individual, he’s actually a really great kid and everyone who lives here knows the guy, and yes, as a community, I’m sure we are all proud of his accomplishments. That aside, how is that a front page story when SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more is going on in the world??? HOW???????

So on princicpal, I refuse to spend a dime on their paper. But what I will do is check out their web page. For such a total wreck of a newspaper, their website is quite well designed and thought out. The emphasis again is less on hard news and more on human interest, dining, local music, theater, arts and opinions and that I can handle because when I’m on the web, I can surf past the BS, find the stories and articles I want and not feel like I got ripped off for 75 cents.

One of my favorite articles caught my attention a few years ago and I have been a fan ever since. Single On The Seacoast is Heather Mackenzies view on the dating scene here in the lovely state of NH. Her opinions are witty and her attitude is quite jaded and thats probably why I love her writing. She always finds a way to sumarize everything thats wrong with dating, self image and attitudes and put a hopeful spin on it. I like that. Finding a small shimmering bit of hope at the bottom of the dating well. She gives me a little hope that maybe it’s not all as bad as I think. Maybe there is a way out of this dating hell I’ve been in for so long.

So despite all my protestations, despite my rant about the lack of “hard news” in the Portsmouth Herald and in spite of myself, I’m  going to a news website for the one thing I hate about the actual newspaper: FLUFF. Human interest, editorial, columnist FLUFF. And I love it. I go back each week for her latest article…..

Guess I’m getting soft in my old age…. 🙂

Here’s a link to her latest article:

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20090129-ENTERTAIN-901290321

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3 responses to “The Only Thing I Read in the Local Paper (A Bit of a Rant)

  1. Hi, glassowater:
    I have frequented Margaret and Helen for a while now and when I have time I pop by blogs that are linked.

    I find a great sense of peace knowing how many like minded folks have been drawn there.

    I like your blog. I need to read your archives.

    Our local journalism sucks in general. I think they’ve given up thinking “real” news comes from the cable networks. I can’t stand them either lately. It’s the same story over, and over, and over (ad infinitum).

    Cheers!

    Welcome! I’m always happy when a new face pops by! My blogs tend to run all over the place: recipes, movie reviews, personal stories, forays into existential metaphorical story telling and of course embarassing stories of my little life… I hope you enjoy reading them! 🙂

  2. Same here in Rochester and same in my even smaller town in northeast PA. And there it seems they don’t even hire proofreaders. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve nearly lost it when I read their paper.
    I especially recall one edition where they reported an API article about a bank heist and inadvertently posted a picture of our local bank president above it NEXT to which was the article about his bank getting new ATMs!
    Too farkin’ funny…. but pathetic.
    Good rant, GOW!

    Oh you don’t know the half of it! I could have gone on a long long tirade about the ineptitude of this so-called newspaper…ugh!
    Proofreaders seem to be in short supply at this paper too…as well as FACT checkers….

  3. Here in Houston, TV news has become a contest for area cosmetic dentists. Consequently, every anchor, reporter and wx gal or guy all have smiles that seemingly consist of large white Chiclets. It is ridiculous to the point of being sublime.

    You also write of a jaded columnist. Jaded? Maybe, but considering the subject is dating with a smidge of doubt and pessimism also thrown in, I’d probably refer to her as experienced, though personally, I like “jaded”. It colors all articles and reports to my liking.

    Let’s hear it for survival.

    Been a while I know. Hope you’re well.

    Best,
    LK

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