Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Tracy Warner Mania!

A reader notes that Tracy Warner wrote an item about my post on brain drain from last week. It's nice to know that Tracy continues to read this blog and takes the time to note what he finds interesting.

Loyal FWMN readers know that in the early days of this blog, I wrote about TracyWarner.net quite a bit. In recent weeks, that hasn't happened.

Here's why:

A few weeks ago I spent a some time preoccupied with Kelly Gabriel. Victor Locke and I ended up going back and forth about the quality of Ms. Gabriel's news reporting. (MediaWatch had called her 21Alive's "ace reporter," I disagreed with that assessment, Victor Locke posted a comment on MediaWatch's site concurring with them, and I disagreed with Victor's comment. Then we went back and forth for a few rounds. If you're interested in reading it all, go here. But be warned: it's long.)

So far, so good. I probably spent too much time arguing with Victor, and we ended up talking in circles, but it was nice to have a discussion with him about a media-related issue.

Then Tracy posted an item about our exchange. Nothing wrong with that. As I said, it's nice to know that Tracy reads this blog and takes the time to note what he finds interesting. Here's what he wrote:

Two observers of local media have, for reasons that escape me, chosen 21 Alive's Kelly Gabriel as a subject of praise and criticism. What they haven't told you is that, regrettably, Kelly will likely be leaving 21 in the next month or two -- and not because of any comments about her on the Net. Kelly's husband, Paul Heidbreder, recently left his job as publisher of both the Wabash Plain Dealer and the Peru Tribune to become publisher of the Daily Telegram in Adrian, Mich. A daily commute from Adrian for Kelly is unrealistic.

Mediawatch, which has a few media related Websites and recently started a blog, likes Kelly; the new Fort Wayne Media Notes blog doesn't.

Personally, I've found Kelly to be a real pro who cares deeply about journalism. She's one of the most versatile people in local TV -- in addition to being a field news reporter AND a fill-in weathercaster, she's a master gardener and writes gardening columns for both The JG and The Blade in Toledo. Perhaps I'm biased because of Kelly's print background; she and her husband owned and ran a small weekly in the Toledo area. Like all the good journalists I know, Kelly always tries to improve her craft.

Kelly may well end up in the Toledo TV market.

Again, I don't have any problem with Tracy commenting on something I've written, and disagreeing with my opinion. But writing something that's incorrect is another matter.

Here are the two sentences in Tracy's post that I had issues with:

...What they haven't told you is that, regrettably, Kelly will likely be leaving 21 in the next month or two -- and not because of any comments about her on the Net...

...Mediawatch, which has a few media related Websites and recently started a blog, likes Kelly; the new Fort Wayne Media Notes blog doesn't...
Neither of those statements are true. Here's part of what I wrote on June 9, four days before Tracy posted his thoughts to Gabrielgate.

And, as we mentioned in the first days of this blog, our mission is not to get personal, but always be discussing the quality or veracity of the work -- our writing, your comments, local reporters -- and not attacking anyone. It's harder in television, when so much of a reporter's job involves the presentation of the news and not just the text of the story. And anything we wrote about
Kelly Gabriel had to do with the quality of her work, not about her. We noted that we're sure she's a very nice person, as everyone seems to agree. We wish her luck when she moves on from the station later this summer.
I think it's pretty clear: the discussion Victor and I had wasn't because I didn't "like" Kelly and he did; it was because we had a difference of opinion on the quality of her work. Maybe Tracy's words were murky enough that his readers might very well have taken them to mean he was implying I didn't like Gabriel in a personal sense. That simply wasn't the case.

And I did refer to Gabriel's leaving the station sometime this summer, so his statement about not telling you that she'll be leaving is also false.

I emailed Tracy after I read his post to inform him of the discrepancy, but he has yet to post a correction or respond to me personally to disagree with my assertion that he was mistaken in what he wrote.

Now I'm not sitting here saying that I've never made mistakes or wrote something that turned out to be false; I have, and I've been quick to point them out and correct those errors. No one here is perfect, but I don't think I'm holding Tracy to too high a standard by expecting him to post a correction or inform me of why he's decided it isn't warranted.



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?