Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Newspaper Slammed for Running Platinum Media Story...

Can u believe this shit?

People r actually bitching over the fact that a local newspaper & website wrote a POSITIVE story on adult entertainment.



Newspaper Slammed for Running Platinum Media Story

Waterville, Maine- Why would we write about a business in Waterville that produces and distributes pornography? And why would we run an article like that on the front page? Some readers of our newspapers and our Web sites have been asking those questions since a story about Platinum Media appeared in both of our newspapers last Monday. The company, owned by Mandi Michaels and Scott and Margaret Morgan, has been operating in Waterville since 1999. It's doing well financially, with annual sales exceeding $600,000. People who questioned our judgment in writing this story generally fell into two camps: They would prefer that this business not be here and they wish we wouldn't have "promoted" it with a prominent story. Others said young people read our newspapers and especially see the front page. Did we think of them when we made our decision? David R. Vernon of Detroit wrote a letter to the editor that said, in part: "I wonder why you would choose to 'plug' such a shameful and dirty business and slap a city and state with a label that everyone has to wear, whether they agree or not." First, we respect Vernon's opinion, which we know is shared by others. Our readers are our customers. When we disappoint them, it's important for us to listen to what they say.

A journalist's role -- a newspaper's role -- is to hold a mirror up to a community, to report what's truly going on. Coming up with reasons not to report something goes against the nature of what we do. We seek the truth and we report it as accurately and fairly as we can.Some of the biggest mistakes journalists make occur when they choose not to report something. For example, on a national story, there apparently were deep divisions within the Bush Administration before the Iraq War about whether weapons of mass destruction really existed in Iraq. Our industry did not report the run-up to the war skeptically enough, and it now appears these weapons weren't in Iraq prior to 2002 or they weren't there in large numbers. In the case of Platinum Media, neighbors of this Waterville business have known for some time what Michaels and the Morgans were producing, editing and distributing.

During my first few weeks on the job last January, a business leader in Waterville told me about the company. She knew about it because her mother lives nearby. The Waterville police paid a visit to the business because, in its early days, Federal Express trucks made frequent stops there, and neighbors noticed. The police concluded Platinum Media is a legal operation. Fed-X trucks no longer make repeated runs to the neighborhood. Late last year, a national trade magazine for the adult-entertainment industry published a profile of Platinum Media. The magazine said Waterville was becoming a nexus of consenting-couples pornography in the northeastern United States, because of Platinum Media's success. This company exists and what it does is interesting. Reporting on Platinum Media doesn't mean we support it and it doesn't mean we object to it. We cover violent crime and tax increases, for example, not to promote them, but because they are important and inherently interesting. How we report and write about potentially distasteful news is important, however. In the case of Platinum Media, we think our coverage was responsible, tasteful and measured, right down to the words that reporter Joel Elliott chose.

Some of our online readers agreed with our decision to report the story and play it prominently. Some said the adult-entertainment business is legal, popular in some circles and lucrative. The fact that local residents are making their livings from it should not be ignored, these readers said. Should we have run the story on the front page? You can certainly debate that. These are decisions that I typically make, in concert with four or five key editors here. We all sensed this story would be well-read. Some of the top things we look for in judging the "newsworthiness" of a story are: impact, proximity and how unusual something is. The Platinum Media story was weak on impact, as only three local people work there. But it was strong on the other criteria. The business is based in Waterville, a national magazine had recently profiled it, and as far as we know it's a highly unusual operation for our area. As I've written before, one of the valuable things about running newspaper Web sites is we can count how many times a story is read online.

By last Wednesday, the Platinum Media story had been read more than 5,000 times, which easily made it the most popular story at onlinesentinel.com and kjonline.com that week. We strive to cover our communities for what they are, not what we'd prefer them to be. That means covering wholesome, all-American milestones like high school and college graduations. It means reporting occasionally on adult entertainment businesses in our backyard.


2 the anal-retentive, or in layman's term's, TIGHT ASS, people out there who bitch & moan about an adult company making legal $$$ & not doing anything wrong & some1 giving them their due credit, well...


(Or get your pussy eaten, if u r a female)

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