Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Grading the Miami media's coverage of the Alan Gross story: The good, the bad and the ugly

The good...

There's probably no one in Miami more qualified to anchor coverage of an important story like a thaw in U.S/Cuba relations than Local 10's Michael Putney. He's covered thousands of stories in this town in his almost 40 years as a journalist. Channel 10 hit it out of the park by tapping Putney to anchor the station's coverage of the Gross story. Kudos also to WPLG for sticking with the story past 1 p.m. while other stations went back to regular programming.


The bad...

This morning, all those recent staff cuts at the Miami Herald came back to bite the paper in the ass. Miami's newspaper of record was slow out of the gate in its coverage of a story it should have owned.

The Herald's first mention of Gross' release was in a tweet sent out shortly before 9 a.m. that was based on information from "multiple outlets." Embarrassing.

Sometime after 9 a.m., the paper finally posted a three-paragraph wire service story that stayed on the Herald's website until well past 10 a.m.

A retired Herald editor emailed this to a former colleague:
What a sad commentary that Cuba news explodes and the Herald knew nothing about it ... And has to quote other media reports even now because it can't independently confirm. The Herald should own this story. Breaks my heart.

It appears that ABC News was first with the story just before 9 .a.m. with this report from Jim Avila in Miami that aired on Good Morning America.

ABC News Video


The ugly...

The Herald also gets a failing grade for posting a picture with one of its stories of Cuban douchebag Miguel Saavedra and his band of idiots. This guy is an amateur agitator who represents no one but himself. Posting a picture of this moron adds nothing to anyone's understanding of a complex and important story.

Miguel Saavedra, center, at the Versailles Wednesday morning.
(Miami Herald photo)

Sadly, it's my duty to report that while Local 10 bested everyone by putting Michael Putney in the anchor chair for this story, someone at the station screwed up big time by deciding it was a good idea to pair Miami's most experienced political reporter with the station's early morning dim-witted Traffic Twinkie, Constance Jones.

Jones looked out of her element sitting next to Putney. A fact that was made abundantly clear anytime she opened her mouth.

During one segment with Putney and Local 10's Cuban-American anchor Victor Oquendo, Jones sat by silently, staring off into space and nodding like some kind of tarted-up bobble head doll.

Jones' contribution to the discussion comes at 1:12 and 1:14 on the video below when she utters the word "wow."

That's insightful, Constance. But Christiane Amanpour you're not.

Perhaps your bosses should have you stick to taking and posting stupid selfies and let the grown-ups handle the important stories.

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