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Writog: writer-photographer.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

PR: GIGO





When it comes to its weekly arts and events listing the Press-Republican couldn't care less about being accurate and timely.

Evidence?  Check out this listing that appeared today, 6/14/12, in the 8 Days A Week column under Art Exhibitions (page A9):

"Cafe Cumberland, 69 Margaret St., Plattsburgh.  Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday."

As comedian Johnny Carson would say: "Wrong, newsprint breath."

There is no art exhibit at Cafe Cumberland, 69 Margaret Street.  There will never be an art exhibit at Cafe Cumberland.  Why?  Because Cafe Cumberland closed down years ago.  I talked about this deadwood listing back in May, 2011.  At that time the space at 69 Margaret was empty.  It has been renovated and there is some sort of office in that location.

Let's take a look at another item under Miscellaneous:

"Life Drawing Classes.  6:30 to 8 p.m. Mondays.  North Country Cultural Center for the Arts, 30 Brinkerhoff St., Plattsburgh.  $5 per class.  563-1604."

Outside of the phone number for the NCCCA, everything else is wrong.  Here's the correct listing according to someone familiar with that event:

"Life Drawing Classes.  10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays.  North Country Cultural Center for the Arts, 23 Brinkerhoff St., Plattsburgh."

30 Brinkerhoff Street, the old Merchants Bank, was the former location of NCCCA.  As reported in the PR, the Arts Center moved to the old Federal Building across the street at 23 Brinkerhoff back in 2009.  Apparently no one at the PR reads its news.

I've mentioned before the best way to deal with the deadwood listings problem is to have organizations with ongoing events update every month.  That way if there's no new listing submitted from Cafe Cumberland for a couple of months -- or for a couple of years -- then it would be dropped.  A database program using a Date Submitted field would quickly take care of the problem.

Too much work for the PR?  Hey, according to a recent editorial, the paper is focused on the pursuit of journalistic excellence.  Maybe it should try just for mediocrity before revving up for excellence.

Do you subscribe to the Press-Republican?  Save a tree.  Stop the spread of misinformation.  Cancel your subscription today.

Less garbage in the garbage.

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