Houston Press documents two Chron adventures in bad journalism

The Chron's junior metro/state diarist Lisa Falkenberg ventured outside of her comfort zone today to try, once again, to cover a grownup topic.

The effort wasn't much more successful than her first foray into the wonders of BARC (OMG!), as evidenced by her glowing profile of new BARC "change agent" (and self-promoter) Gerry Fusco:

“I think I'm gifted by God with very, very special talents,” said the 60-year-old turnaround consultant and volunteer career coach who says he experienced a spiritual awakening several years ago following two bouts with kidney cancer and a nasty divorce. “I've taken care of people and God has said to me now, you need to take care of the animals.”

[snip]

“You will find that I'm The One,” he tells me.

He says God has blessed him with “elite” communication, people and “visionary” skills. “I believe I have a unique ability to see and act quicker than others,” he says. “I'm a good judge of people.”

And maybe it ain't bragging if it's true.

Maybe (OMG)! But after this waste of space in the ever-shrinking Tuesday newspaper, readers still have no greater sense of Fusco's actual accomplishments in the business world, or why Mayor Bill White bypassed Council to rush him onto the job.

Craig Malisow, the Houston Press journalist who has owned this story, posted a lengthy critique here. Be sure to read the comments!

Elsewhere on the Hair Balls blog, Rich Connelly reports that both a Chronicle neighborhood edition reporter and an editor seem a little confused by the facts that reporters are not expected to hand out prefabricated quotes to people and ask them to fill in their names, or to report on, say, places where they work on the side.

Connelly does cut the Chronicle a little slack because the reporting was for the weekly zoned neighborhood section and not the big newspaper, but were we Jeff Cohen, we probably wouldn't be so tolerant. If the Houston Chronicle name is on the thing, the journalism ought to meet some standards, we would think.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 08/11/09 11:16 PM | Print |

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