Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sentinel desperately in need of "Community" news

In my occasional trawlings of the local newspapers I sometimes find something that's worth writing about. Far more often, however, I find something that just makes me snicker at how ridiculous the local news actually is.

It's not like I expect a lot from news, really. I haven't watched television news in at least a decade. The local newspapers are several orders of magnitude beneath television news (yes, even Fox News), but at least they're in print form and I can easily skim through the crap to get to those items that may have somehow retained a little tiny shred of dignity.

So I was skimming the Sentinel website today, and noticed the following enticing article linked on the front page:

Holy cow! You know that's got to be a good juicy story!

Understandably, I was all eager to read what would no doubt be some sort of old-fashioned moralizing about the evils of seeing boobies on the interweb. That could entertain me for 30 seconds or so.

Sadly, I discovered a couple of problems with this item of "Community" news...

First, it's really fucking old:

While it's good to see that the devoted editors of the Sentinel do indeed work at (exactly) 2 am, the nearly two and a half year-old nature of the item is less encouraging. Perhaps that one late night did them in for the next 28 months, but holy crap people, this is linked to your front page!

The article itself was a bit of a disappointment once I got to it. Apparently it's a pseudo-Ann Landers syndicated bit of drivel. The fun porn stuff was only the first of three letters to "Annie", and the response was boring.

Also, here's another problem:

Now, I'm sure that people in Manitoba have made-up problems that need answers from faceless syndicated columnists who don't have to answer to anybody just like everybody else, but this is in the "Community" section of the local newspaper. Manitoba is decidedly not local! If you wanted to drive there, this is the route you would have to take. That's a long drive, people.

What does all this mean to you and me, the loyal readers of the local press? It means it's time to take action! There are clearly far too few things going on in our own community to warrant mention. So it's time to start making the news!

Fathers, start looking at a lot more porn on the internets. I suggest you start with tentacle porn and work your way up. Make sure never to clear your cache or delete cookies or really make any attempt at all to cover what you did. Then let your teenage daughters use your computers. With any luck they'll discover your surfing habits and write a letter to the local paper about it. Then we'll have real community news!

Also, mothers, I suggest you become obese and get in car accidents.

There you go, a surefire way to get the Sentinel to actually put news from this community in the "Community News".

On a brighter note, at least the Fitchburg Pride is on the ball with their shocking "Breaking News" about some dude dumping leaves in the woods. Go Pride!


Brian said...

i caught that dad/porn thing too and I too was suckered in.

on another note, what is that sound effect that plays when you go to the Fitchburg Pride website? it kind of sounds like a toilet flushing. any idea?

The Unicow said...

That, my friend, is the sound of your soul dying.


The Unicow said...

In all seriousness now, I just went to Fitchburg Pride and turned off my adblockers and noscript extensions and you're right!

There's a crazy sucking sound coming from that website. Possibly the worst sound effect ever associated with a website, ever.

Seems to originate from the Worcester State College banner at the top. And it's definitely a sucking sound.

Holy fuck that's awful.

Brian said...

can't imagine why they would allow a sucking/flushing sound to greet their visitors.

Eric said...

I think they should add one of those talking cartoon heads to read the day's top stories. That would be fancy.

Jason said...

Hi, all.

It is, in fact, the Worcester State College ad at the top of the website. Thanks for reading

The Unicow said...


Seriously, that sound is bad. I know it's from the WSC banner ad, but if you have any control over it, I'd definitely ditch that ad.

Flash ads are pretty terrible in general, but one that makes a sucking sound every 15 seconds is just insane.

I know you need to pay the bills, but can't you do it in a way that doesn't lead to such an obvious punchline?

I may make fun, but Fitchburg Pride is actually sucking much less these days. I know it's a low bar to cross, but the reporting is generally superior to the Sentinel at this point.

Ditch the sucking sound, friend!