Easter has come, everyone. I'm sure you all know what that means: it’s time to hunt outside for artificial eggs that overflow with jelly beans, barf from pigging out on everything in your Easter basket, and wake up at all hours of the
morning and get ready for church. Church leads me to what today's blog post is about: religion. Keep in mind with this post that I'm not that much of a religious person. But I'll still share how I viewed the religious posts that cleveland.com offered this week.
A religious individual who wants any type of coverage on the topic from the online newspaper can go to cleveland.com/religion. The page has stories from most recent to March 12. If that isn't far back enough, they have a "Browse the Archives" and "Search by Keyword" area. The files go back all the way to 2006.
I scrolled down the page, scanning who the publishers were for each article, and found that either The Plain Dealer or Plain Dealer wire services produced the majority of the content. The staff only borrowed two
articles from the Associated Press. The AP articles covered a "Pope Francis," a topic that popped up often under the religion page at least as late as the 12th of March. Now yes: Ohio's paper writes more articles on religion
aspects. But I'm suspicious. Who is composed of this "Plain Dealer wire services" team? And how did the editors get this information about such a world issue?
And looking at what type of multimedia each group supplied didn’t help my thoughts. The Plain Dealer staff offered either a slide show or high-definition picture on the issue and placed a 200-word article below the images. The two AP articles averaged around 900-words each with no pictures. And the Wire Services provided 650-word articles with a small photo: from the AP.
It's great that the publishing supervisors send out at least one article to the public once a day. And yes, I did say that TPD needed more stories covered by its own people. But I'd also suggest to the individuals who run the site that they need a different approach. Going out and getting the information yourself is one thing. But something tells me that the source went out, grabbed the background story from a particular news agency, and put its own news source's name on it. Be careful, The Plain Dealer.