May 16, 2022

Morning Call Blues

On Friday afternoon the Morning Call staff held a walkout and rally at the Arts Park, not to be confused with the Arts Walk or the perp walk. In attendance were regional elected officials and hopefuls to express their solidarity.  Allentown Mayor Tuerk expressed dismay that the Morning Call no longer has a newsroom. 

This blogger has long expressed dismay from the beginning of the NIZ, that the Morning Call building, although across the street from the rest of NIZ zone map, was included in the zone anyway. So, it was of no surprise to this blogger when Reilly's City Center Realty gobbled up the Morning Call building. Although the politicians present at the rally praised the need for the public to have a hardy Fourth Estate, coverage of corruption wasn't mentioned. Long before the current Alden Global ownership of the Morning Call, there was no scrutiny by the newspaper of a former mayor's decade long corruption. Long before Alden, and since, there is little scrutiny of the NIZ. 

I'm grateful that we still have our local paper. I wish the individual Morning Call staff members well, and care about their continued employment security.  As to their demands for gender parity and diversity, my concern is for the lack of probing in local journalism. For that shortfall I blame the local management, rather than the reporters per se. Their management has always seemed reluctant to disturb the status quo of the local establishment. For example, I wanted them to report on why Wehr's Dam languished? I wanted them to report on how a decaying brewery building already has had two different subsidized owners under the NIZ? 

photocredit: By an aging blogger, who nevertheless manages to report on the rot in the little apple called Allentown every weekday for the last fifteen years.

11 comments:

  1. Symbolism and perception is the goal of today's society, actual results require wisdom, discipline and hard work. That is an out of date idea in today's society.
    The awakening to reality will be a hard lesson.

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    1. or "Perception" vs "Reality" (like a newspaper without a newsroom)

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  2. "I wish the individual Morning Call staff members well, and care about their continued employment security. As to their demands for gender parity and diversity..."

    So their concern is gender parity and diversity? Where? They're all working from home, so I hope they have it there. If there asking for it everywhere, then they're really not a newspaper are they? They're an advocacy group.

    The irony is that if they valued diversity of OPINION as much as they value diversity for whatever their woke cause of the day is, they'd probably still have a strong subscriber base (and a workplace).

    As to the claim that we still have a "local" paper, that's just wishful thinking. It's written from the suburbs by a bunch of partisan hacks and then printed in New Jersey. I'm glad that so many of them remember where they used to work and could still find Allentown, but that's not a local paper.

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  3. anon@7:42: Their main concerns were economical-frozen salary and no compensation for expenses. IMO it's a local paper, however , many of new reporters have no institutional knowledge of the city history and politics.

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    1. Financial benefits for employees follow financial success, right? So what are they doing to make their newspaper more attractive to a broader base of subscribers, and make their paper more profitable (or even just profitable)? From the front page to the local news, it's an advertisement for continuing the failed policies of the democrat party.

      They even have a watchdog who claims to be a Republican but who mostly criticizes Republican office holders. Where is the balance?

      As you note, they ignored the corruption right under their noses when they still had a building and were a block from Allentown City Hall and continue to be quiet about the financial downfall of the city. When they do mention finances of the city or school district, it's just to parrot democrat talking points that taxes need to be raised and more municipal welfare is needed from Harrisburg.

      How about an occasional scorecard for how the city's elected leaders are doing? I can tell you Allentown property owners are losing ground to property owners in the suburbs, Allentown workers are paying more than those in the suburbs, and Allentown School District students are falling behind almost everyone in the state. And don't get me started about crime or quality of life.

      But hey, nothing for the Call to write about there.

      And you can't just blame management. If the employees felt differently, they could hold a walkout and rally for fair reporting at the newspaper.

      I'd be much more inclined to care about their continued employment security and personal welfare if I could believe that they had even the slightest care about mine.

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    2. As a consumer I don’t see that a subscription to the MC offers me anything. The local news is reported without context or follow-up, if it’s reported at all. Success is now measured by “hits” and “likes” and local reporters don’t last long enough to establish any connection with the community. Local politicians take advantage of this and the paper is stuffed with ads and flyers that I don’t use or care about. I don’t blame employees for this, I’m sure they would like the opportunity to make the paper better or more attractive to a broader base, but that isn’t where the management is directing their efforts. Corporate is trying to offer a return to their investors and the investors don’t know or care about the Lehigh Valley. (And I doubt if the could find it on a map.)

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  4. Can't think of a single thing worth mentioning with that paper good or bad. Frankly I don't even care any more. I know some hope it will return to the basic principals of journalism, I think they are toast no matter what they do.

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  5. Turn out the lights, the party is over.

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  6. scott@12:48&anon@1:54, I think that you're wrong, and they (MC) will be here for a while. They have more people working than I realized, so apparently their margin in the black is strong enough. As for policy and slant, it reflects their current long time editor, Mike Miorelli. I don't think that their slant really matters much in the marketplace, being mostly used for local news, events and sports.

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  7. I wonder how much better it might be if they were still under private ownership (The Millers)?

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  8. How many people even read the paper, Online or hard copy? I know people who subscribe out of habit but never taken the paper out of the plastic until they recycle it. I rarely even look at the online site as the paywall is unforgiving. If I could subscribe and then unsubscribe easily I might do it now and then, however, I have heard too many nightmare stories of canceling attempts of the M.C. to go there.

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