The Saturday Intelligencer: more PR releases as news
The paper needs a more up-to-date explanation of what they are
Two more today
Two days ago, I documented how half of the stories on its front page were word-for-word public relations releases. Today, we get more of the same.
West Virginia University puts out daily PR releases – you can read them here. If you scroll down far enough, you’ll find today’s word-for-word Intelligencer article:
Researchers Study Effects of New Opioid Law
Like Thursday’s WVU article, its 51 days old (October 24). If this is news, shouldn’t it have been run in October? It isn’t news, it’s a cheap, cut-and-paste substitute for news.
Also, on the front page is an article about West Liberty University’s search for a new president which comes directly from West Liberty’s “News & Media Relations” page. (In fairness to the Intelligencer, it’s not entirely word-for-word – the Intelligencer changed the first sentence from “West Liberty announced” to "West Liberty has announced.”)
The paper needs a better explanation of what they are
At the top-left corner of every edition of the Wheeling Intelligencer is an explanation of how the paper sees itself:
West Virginia’s oldest newspaper, older than the state itself, The Intelligencer has stood guard for 167 years against predatory interests which would violate civil rights.
Okay, maybe local readers can help me out with this: when was the last time the paper “stood guard” against “predatory interests”? Was it in this century?
I would suggest a substitution that more closely reflects the paper in its current form:
“All the PR releases that are fit to print.”