Tuesday, June 30, 2009

JNS BLOG EDITORIAL: The Usual Lack Of Insight From Insight News...

Photo By John Hoff

The June 29-July 5 edition of Insight News hit the streets and, as always, it's like eating two chicken drummies and calling that "supper."

Your first clue that you won't get much content from Insight News is the part of the paper called the "name plate," where the words "Insight News" are prominently featured. When the name plate of a publication is more than three inches high, (white margin included) you know somebody is trying to fill space...

So, this week Insight News has a story (if you want to call it that) about the National Newspapers Publishers Association, which includes publishers of America's black press.

You would think such an important event would merit some coverage from Al McFarlane (who is, after all, the convention host) but instead we simply have a photo...a really BIG photo...of publisher Al McFarlane posing with some of the convention participants. That's it. That's the coverage. A photo on the front page and a caption. Al is on the far left and, oh gee, the guy on the far left gets his name listed first. That's how it works.

Don Allen of the IBNN blog (who attended the convention) told me the event wasn't publicized very well.

(ADDENDUM: February 6, 2011. This blog post was written before I and many others in North Minneapolis discovered what a disreputable con man character Don Allen is. I would advise anybody: Do not trust Don Allen. Seek further information about Don Allen from various online sources before having any contact with him)

That's what Don tells me. Well, I can see it certainly wasn't COVERED very well, after the fact. Inside of this week's Insight News are fluffy features like "Three good excuses for having a summer party" and "Retailers cut women sizes to save money" which read like journalistic garnishes instead of entrees. Meanwhile, this blog delivers video of a notorious crack house burning. In some ways I consider Insight News my competition but in a lot of ways...well, I don't consider them competition at all.

The fact this community newspaper is falling flat on its fat, papery ass seems to be admitted between the lines, as one story says, "There were simply too many successful youth at the AAU Youth State Track Meet to mention them all." That same page contains an advertisement from a tire store, a "mortgage modification" business, and a copy shop. In glorious full color.

Honestly, if this blog had an email with the names of all those successful young athletes at AAU, how long do you think it would take me to copy, paste and publish? There are plenty of times this blog puts out more content--by which I mean SUBSTANTIVE stories, instead of fluff and filler--in a SINGLE DAY than Insight News puts out ALL WEEK.

I would strongly suggest advertisers who want to reach a North Minneapolis (NoMi) audience should get in touch with Google ads and find a way to be featured on local blogs like this one. Paper is dead. The internet is the future.

And, hey, it's not like Insight News lacks a website, it's just they're much too wedded to their archaic and gruesome "dead tree format." Every week they put some murdered, violated tree flesh out on the streets, and every week I have to wonder, "Why did they even bother? I weep for the forests." Well, this week is a week like any other. Shed a tear for the ozone, Insight News just hit the racks.

But, hey, at least this week Al McFarlane wasn't trying to prop up Reverend Jerry McAfee's so-called "leadership."

Be grateful for small favors from God.


Anonymous said...

More to the point, why do YOU even bother? Insight actually makes a legitimate and largely successful attempt at news, features and editorials. JNS is one person who just brags all day about his dubious value. I think the circulation of Insight speaks volumes about it's worth and substance, whether you like it or not.

The Mortgage Geek said...

And the proper grammar should be "Minneapolis hosts NNPA." Hosts, with an s at the end. Just thought I'd point that out.

Northside Anonymous Buster said...

First A-

You got right..."attempt at news." What isn't Insight reporting on the laughable lawsuit number 3 by Jerry Moore??? Where is the legitimacy of that newspaper now? Oh, I am SURE that Insight News has contacted JNS for a comment on THAT lawsuit. Or maybe Al McFarland is afraid that Johnny Northside will make a parody of him like this:


Mean GREEN said...

"I think the circulation of Insight speaks volumes about it's worth and substance, whether you like it or not."

Oh yes, you are so right; it is worth the weight of a TON of dead trees. Get Green or be like the trees that cry the sap of within any insight to their lives.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous. If the blog is so bad, why do you bother to read it and post here?

Sounds to me like there's an alterior motive involved.

Johnny Northside said...


If you can call putting stuff out on a rack "circulation."

Say "No" to Insight News said...

Insight News is the worse source of Information in the Black community. This is not news, this is Journalistic Masturbation.

The NNPA event was a total disaster. Several attendees said they would never come back to Minneapolis if it was handled the same way again.

Questions: Where was the Twin Cities Black Journalists and what's the deal with having a tribute to El-Kati? WTF did he do?

Mean GREEN said...

Its not circulation, its more like massive graves for dead trees.

Anonymous said...

I actually think that the problem is only partly to do with the paper format, and stems mainly from the fact that the editor maintains such an autocratic control of the content (even to the point of personally rewording submissions to the announcements section to fit his political agenda), designed entirely to support the continuation of a particular old-school power structure. It's fine to have a paper devoted to a particular political viewpoint, but if you want it to be lively over a long period of time, it has to actually allow for the unexpected and sometimes uncontrollable--not just recite the same tired propaganda, which gets boring even to people who agree with it. Basically, Insight News reminds me of a state run television channel in a dictatorship--BOOOORING!

Anonymous said...

Johnny: If you understood anything about newspaper circulation, readership and demographics, you'd know that advertising rates are paid based on the above. It seems to me that Insight has many willing to pay the going rate, while you literally beg for money here. Also, you actually post 3 second face-making videos to youtube? Wow, what a viral information king of media you are.

As for the first Anonymous commenter's motive? Probably not far off from mine, to make sure that there are challenges to the narrow view that Johnny claims is all of NoMi's. Like, someone other than his friends posting over and over in blind agreement with their master.

The Mortgage Geek said...

I'm going to jump in and contest the claim that John believes his viewpoints to be "all of NoMi's."

I don't think I'm too far off in my assumption that John either deletes or declines to publish some comments. But that is the prerogative of any administrator of any website (or an editor of dead-tree news, for that matter).

I read JNS and see frequent attempts to engage those with opposing views, and to publish information from multiple perspectives.

John often has the proverbial last words in these exchanges, but Al McFarlane has the same opportunity with his media.

Johnny Northside said...

The only comments I decline to publish are as follows:

1.) Spam comments for stuff like Omega 3 fish oil tablets or penile enhancement pills, etc.

In fact, this is the main reason I "approve" comments instead of leaving the threads open and unmoderated. If I left the thread open, I'd come back and find it filled with spam, choking out discussion the way weeds choke out grass.

2.) A personal attack which is ONLY a personal attack, and not tied to any issue, and (on top of that) foul. But most personal attacks I'll go ahead and publish. It beats having my tires slashed. AGAIN.

3.) The occasional odd third category. Somebody made an off-color comment about a female friend of mine who was featured in a blog post, and I declined to publish it. If somebody went on a racist rant, I'd decline to publish it, probably, but luckily I've never been faced with that problem.

However, the vast majority of comments I will publish because I don't have the market cornered on truth and I consider it a way of achieving "balance in the blog force."

Does Al McFarlane's publication have that kind of balance? Heck, do they even have ROOM for letters to the editor, between all that fluff?

Anonymous said...

"As for the first Anonymous commenter's motive? Probably not far off from mine, to make sure that there are challenges to the narrow view that Johnny claims is all of NoMi's. Like, someone other than his friends posting over and over in blind agreement with their master."

Well whereas I have never met John Hoff in person, I suspect you'd have a hard time qualifying me as "one of his friends in blind agreement with his master".

I have seen more than my fill of the damage caused "in the name of equality" by entities such as those you appear to support to know that there's a hidden agenda. And that hidden agenda has nothing to do with actually helping those that need help - socially, OR financially.

My opinions have not changed ONE BIT and I am proud to say, this blog has not influenced my feelings towards the REAL problems on the northside. If anything, its reinforced what I already knew.

dennis m plante

Florida baked brain said...

Dennis: What's the hidden agenda, and what are the REAL problems on the Northside? You seem to have it all figured out, so clue the rest of us in, will ya?

Anonymous said...

Gladly, as soon as I know who it is that's asking.

dennis plante