Apparently, yesterday was WVU Academic Media Day and our local papers sent reporter Linda Comins to cover the events of the day. The keynote speaker was WVU President E. Gordon Gee (who else could it be?) and thus his comments became front-page news for this morning's Wheeling Intelligencer:
Gee Says West Virginia Forward Initiative Is Picking Up Steam
Of course (at least as Comins reported his speech), Gee never explained how WVU's plan was “picking up steam.” However, Gee had his usual share of metaphors* and Comins did capture some of them:
“Our job is to reweave the fabric of the state in a way that allows us to be extremely successful.”
“I think we’re picking up momentum. We’ve done the homework; we have the data. I’m optimistic we’ll pick up the pace on this. We have to.”
Why is this considered page one news? It has no newsworthiness but that doesn’t matter and that's because Ogden newspapers consider anything Gee says to be worthy of front-page coverage. Secondly, the papers paid a reporter to cover the event and they do need to get their money’s worth. (A bonus for Ogden’s bottom line – lunch was free.)
By the way, it's interesting to see who Gee blames for the lack of progress on his initiative:
Regarding legislation needed to move the state forward, Gee said a lot of conversation was started during this year’s legislative session. However, he said the statewide teachers’ strike — which occurred while the West Virginia Legislature was in session — “took all the oxygen out of any conversations.”
Here is a tweet from the West Virginia Press Association showing Gee addressing the not quite standing-room-only collection of state media:
Here, from 2014, is the gold standard for Gee's use of metaphors. I wrote about it here.
Update (6/13) -- Getting their money's worth on reporter travel expenses
Today brings us yet another Linda Comins' front-page story from West Virginia University's Academic Media Day:
Report: WVU Wields Most Influence
Through collaboration and research, West Virginia University is building upon its reputation as the state's most influential entity.
This is front-page news?