Two more reasons bloggers need ethics guidelines NOW

One.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk has dropped a popular syndicated car column that was the subject of complaints by local auto dealers.

It’s “Click and Clack Talk Cars” by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, who appear in more than 300 newspapers via King Features Syndicate.

After E&P was tipped off to the cancellation, a reporter called Alecia Swasy, a deputy managing editor at The Virginian-Pilot. She said “the newsroom wasn’t consulted” about the dropping of “Click and Clack,” and referred E&P Online to Dee Carpenter, the paper’s president and publisher.

Carpenter confirmed the cancellation, and said several local auto dealers — and he himself — had been bothered by the “irreverent” car column at the times it “went over the top” during the past couple of years. “Sometimes it’s very funny, and sometimes it isn’t,” said Carpenter. But the president/publisher emphasized that the key to the dropping decision was that the column appeared in an advertiser-supported automotive section (running every Friday in The Virginian-Pilot) that’s basically produced for car dealers.

Basically produced for car dealers or expressly produced for car dealers? There’s a big effing difference, mainly because every section of a newspaper is supported by advertisers. “The section’s usually a journalistically worthless exercise in sucking up anyway” is a pretty piss-poor excuse for killing something readers enjoyed.

Two.

Newsday says the number of dumped Newsday Food Extra sections from May 21 represented “a tiny, tiny fraction” of the 600,000 circulars delivered. A Newsday agent tells Mark Harrington that despite a crackdown on paper dumping, certain realities will always tempt low-paid carriers. Higher gasoline prices have reduced the pool of people willing to deliver papers, especially the lower-paying free circulars, says the agent

It’s called fraud, actually. If you tell your advertisers they’re appearing in something and it’s going to be distributed in a certain area, and then it’s not, you owe them whatever they paid you for the service you didn’t provide.

Look, over there! The Internet is killing journalism!

Both items via Romenesko, which even while on holiday is a smorgasbord of dumbassery and whining.

A.

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