To: Aminda "Mindy" Marques, Executive Editor, Miami Herald
Rick Hirsch, Managing Editor, Miami Herald
From: Bill, Random Pixels
Hope you all had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving.
The reason I'm writing is to ask about Sunday's page one story on the hunt for the "Man-eating Croc."
Did you guys hire a headline writer from the National Enquirer? Because that was my first thought when I saw it. Either that or someone wrote the headline as a place-holder and then forgot to change it before the paper went to press.
Or maybe you guys got punk'd!
I couldn't believe it myself when I first saw it. I hope you don't mind, but I put together a little parody and posted it on my blog. (You know me and my sense of humor.)
But some aren't laughing. Someone - and I suspect it may be someone from the fifth floor - left this comment on my post:
[When] I saw that piece in the paper this morning and then the photo on the website, I thought, 'THAT'S the man-eating croc?' It speaks volumes about what's left of the Herald - not the sensationalism but the sheer fact that no one at any level in what's left of the newsroom said, 'Wait a minute. Let's not run THAT photo - not if the story is taking THIS approach.'Oh, and just today, the American Copy Editors Society blog singled out the headline for a special mention.
It's profoundly saddening and embarrassing to see the Herald do what it did today (and far too often) while its circulation craters as other newspapers pass it by with better and smarter...everything and, consequently, less loss of readership.
By the way, I thought I'd mention that while your people were scaring the hell out of the readers with that headline, a couple of other papers in Florida actually had some journalism on their front pages yesterday.
Did you guys happen to see the Palm Beach Post story yesterday on how the Republican Party of Florida conspired to suppress voter turnout?
And did you catch the excellent story in the Tampa Bay Times on Florida's vanishing springs?
Both are examples of top-notch journalism.
You guys at the Herald should try doing some of that again. Like you used to do many years ago.
And leave the tabloid stories to the Star and the National Enquirer.