I'm not entirely sure why, but the Arizona Daily Star is making me particularly grumpy lately. It's possible that my sabbatical from listening to anything on 104.1 "The Truth" is leading me to find new media to be annoyed by and there's certainly solid journalistic work being done by the daily newspaper, but there are a few things they keep doing over on South Park that just drive me nuts. So, here's my brief roast of the Star.
First up, the NFL season is upon us this week, so we have a weekly slideshow of hot cheerleaders to look forward to on Mondays for 20 weeks or so on the front page of azstarnet.com. Admittedly, we have some ads that push the limits of decency in the back of our print issue each week, but I just can't sort out what vague news-related justification the powers that be there have for running a series of photos of attractive women in socially acceptable minimal amounts of clothing on a weekly basis right up front online. However, I almost think the seemingly daily mugshot slideshow might be less ethically justifiable. There's no context to those photos of people on their worst day, just an opportunity to mock those who may or may not end up convicted of anything. I get the need to juice traffic numbers, but at some point, someone has to ask whether there's some collateral damage to how the insititution itself is perceived. It might just be me, but every time I see the cheerleaders or mugshots pop up on the top left of the webpage, my enthusiasm for reading anything else on the page drops considerably.
The other thing, and this is a far more petty complaint, but is there any value whatsoever gained from reporting the monthly special at Subway? Does anyone really need editorial content announcing "Subtember"? Probably not.
On a note likely unrelated to the Star, we found a new comic to run, so check out Arnie Bermudez's new strip, Fish Wrap online. Also, the very smart David Safier debuts as a regular/non-guest columnist this week. Thanks for reading.