Don’t edit your competition out of your news

Le Devoir has an article about how the television networks aren’t talking about each other’s shows. The reason is obvious: Not wanting to give free publicity to the competition. But at the same time they’re all going after newspapers to report new TV shows as news.

Le Devoir says that the newspapers are covering the upcoming season fairly. The implication is that newspapers are more fair than TV stations.

But newspapers aren’t immune to this “don’t talk about the competition” idea. Articles about stories written in other papers make vague references to “a Montreal newspaper” or “the Montreal newspaper The Gazette“, either deliberately obscuring the source or acting as if we’ve never heard of one of the four major daily newspapers in this city.

This is a small part of the reason why people are turning to blogs for news. Bloggers don’t try to hide when information comes from somewhere else. In fact, most successful bloggers welcome competition and cooperate with them.

Yeah, it’s embarrassing when you’re scooped on a story, or when their feature creates a big impact, or when their TV show is more exciting than yours. But don’t insult our intelligence by thinking your deliberate manipulation of the news for pure self-interest isn’t being noticed by readers and viewers.

3 thoughts on “Don’t edit your competition out of your news

  1. Josh

    This sort of thing happens (or used to, at least) in a different way at the Gazette, too. Do they still refer to “the Toronto Globe and Mail”, as if it’s harder to find in this city than it really is, or something? I know they did for years, and that they referred during those same years to “the National Post”, and not “the Toronto National Post”.

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  2. Fagstein Post author

    I haven’t seen either referred to with their city in the Gazette. I have, however, noticed other media outlets (especially American ones) refer to the Globe as a Toronto paper.

    To be fair, both the Globe and the Post are still far too Toronto-centric to be considered truly national papers. The Post is the de facto CanWest Toronto bureau, and the Globe doesn’t deliver to half the country.

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  3. Josh

    I understand that, but I still think “the Toronto-based such-and-such” would be better than what I’ve seen them do with this in the past. If memory serves correct, most of the instances I’m thinking of occurred in the sports section, but there were some in the news pages, too.

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