Another Ride at the Lazy-J Ranch

In the old West, the word “Lazy” in a brand referred to the italic case. Since most common folk didn’t have access to Adobe Printshop and weren’t conversant in fonts, this was the common parlance to refer to those letters with a slant.

I wish I had a “Lazy-J” branding iron like this one. I’d forever mark those news outlets that use shortcuts and supposition to feed their audience a perspective that is less reflective of reality than we deserve.

Remember the rant from last Friday about how ABC squeezed out a “gasoline-thefts-are-up” story that had no merit and no backing evidence? And I related how often producers would sit on “sexy” interviews and video waiting for the news peg?

Well, Harry Forbes highlights another way journalists can be lazy: want ads for victims. He’s got several examples, I will only steal two:

Hard economic times and spring break
Are hard economic times forcing you to forgo Disneyworld with your kids this spring break? Please tell us about your closer-to-home spring break plans. Send emails to [email protected]

Own an SUV?
As gas prices rise, the value of SUVs is dropping. We’re looking for SUV owners who’ve found the trade-in value of their SUV is less than expected. E-mail [email protected] to discuss.

Just cook up a story you want to tell, and advertise for the human you need for those all important “personal details.” Maybe the cowboys had it right… if your “J” is too lazy, it does end up with a slant.

[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, journalism[/tags]

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