Thorns & Roses: The worst, best & most absurd (2/7)

A five on a SCALA of…  |  Rose and Thorn

A rose goes to Insider Louisville for writing first about the Steering Committee for Action on Louisville’s Agenda, or SCALA, a group of about 70 rich and influential people — basically an alternative chamber of commerce. A thorn goes to IL for spending some 4,000 words and 50 mentions of David Jones Jr. and Sr. before we find out at the end of the story that Jones Jr. (33 mentions) is a “major donor” to IL. About 1,100 words in we learn Jones Jr.  is “chair of Insider’s nonprofit board.” Puts the scoop in a new perspective, no? Also a thorn for the timid, slow, bloated presentation that missed the lede (SCALA leadership says: Keep an open mind about a state takeover of our schools, if not welcome it), and that used the cliché “under the radar” to assert that 70 people could possibly meet in secret. Whose radar? The story is written as if IL has discovered a new species, rather than explaining quickly and clearly what is at stake and what the group has said and done. Don’t get us wrong: We are glad Insider reported on the group. We distrust these oligarchs and lever-pullers as much as we do those on any chamber of commerce. But write it tight, please.

CJ ed defaces op/ed legacy  |  Thorn

Speaking of writing that matters, CJ Executive Editor Joel Christopher has done much good for the paper, but his announcement of editorial page changes blithely dismissed, and missed, the point of why newspapers write editorials: community leadership. He asserted, “We were talking at you, not with you. We were telling you what to do, not asking you what together we should do. We were offering solutions that didn’t start with the people living the problem.”  Tell that to the Pulitzer judges who awarded the CJ twice for its editorials. Including more community-drawn commentary is good, but that does not replace newspaper editorials. CJ has the capacity and responsibility to analyze important issues and publish its conclusions. As it had for a century before…

And if he were a russian czar?  |  Thorn

The former Southern Baptist Theological Seminary exec whom Gov. Matt Bevin appointed adoption “czar” got a $60,000 payout after being canned, CJ said. State Rep. Jim Wayne noted that a social worker makes half that. Bevin told The Associated Press the czar was let go because “we got from him what we needed … “

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