Friday, February 11, 2011

The death of a once-great newspaper

UPDATE: The Herald finally gets around to posting a more complete story sometime after noon Friday.

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd have to rely on reports from a local TV station to get the details on a major story.

But that's apparently where the reporting staff at the Miami Herald gets their news. Why should I be any different?

Twelve hours following the seventh Miami police-involved fatal shooting in a year, the Herald was quoting a TV station's report on the incident.
A police traffic stop turned deadly for a man in Miami Thursday night, WSVN-Fox 7 reported.

According to the report Travis McNeil died after an officer shot him and his cousin Kareem Williams, who was in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital Friday morning.

Relatives told a WSVN reporter that the cousins were leaving Take One Cocktail Lounge, a nude-dancing bar at 333 Northeast 79th St. in Little River when police stopped them.

The shooting happened near Third Avenue and 75th Street about 11 p.m.

It's just one more sign that the Miami Herald is dying a slow and painful death.

And if all that weren't bad enough, the Herald posted a photo of the Take One Lounge to go with their story. The photo carried this caption:
On Friday morning, Take One Lounge, 333 NE 79th St., showed little evidence that a police involved shooting took place there Thursday night.
Note to Herald staff: The lack of evidence of a shooting at the Take One Lounge on NE 79th St. might explained by the fact that the shooting occurred FOUR BLOCKS AWAY AT 75TH STREET!!!

Also, as with many Herald stories, readers often do better research than the paper's reporters.

One enterprising Herald reader dug up Travis McNeil's rap sheet:
Case Filed Date Closed Date First Charge
F-01-019159 06/19/2001 09/07/2001 COKE/SELL/DEL/W/INT
F-09-018730 06/05/2009 07/10/2009 DWLS/HABITUAL
M-09-038765 07/01/2009 08/05/2009 GAMBLING
M-09-062076 10/16/2009 11/05/2009 CANNABIS/POSN/0-20
M-07-003133 01/17/2007 01/17/2007 TRES PROP/AFTER WARN
M-03-055603 11/06/2003 11/06/2003 TRESPASS
F-00-030490 09/20/2000 09/28/2000 CONT SUB/SELL/DEL
F-08-031204 08/26/2008 10/22/2008 DWLS/HABITUAL
M-06-008351 02/16/2006 05/09/2006 CANNABIS/POSN/0-20
F-02-002420 01/25/2002 02/14/2002 COCAINE/POSSESSION
F-03-019729 07/14/2003 08/14/2003 FLEE/ELUDE PO/HGH SP
B-04-044949 08/26/2004 08/26/2004 CANNABIS/POSN/0-20
F-05-015274 05/12/2005 06/02/2005 DWLS/HABITUAL
M-03-034467 07/18/2003 10/01/2003 TRESPASS
M-02-061040 01/07/2003 03/12/2003 TRESPASS
F-02-003613 02/06/2002 02/26/2002 COKE/SELL/DEL/W/INT
M-02-001102 01/10/2002 05/09/2002 LOITERING
M-01-003036 01/19/2001 05/23/2001 TRESPASS
M-05-011456 03/09/2005 07/07/2005 CANNABIS/POSN/0-20
F-06-001761-A 01/18/2006 07/19/2007 COCAINE/SELL/SCHOOL
M-03-025793 05/30/2003 06/27/2003 MARIJUANA/POSSESSION
F-02-007179 03/12/2002 03/06/2003 COKE/SELL/1000FT/CHR
M-04-002135 01/16/2004 06/22/2004 TRESPASS
M-04-002135 01/16/2004 06/22/2004 TRESPASS
M-04-002135 01/16/2004 06/22/2004 TRESPASS
F-07-009525 03/16/2007 07/19/2007 FLEE/ELUDE PO


  1. Still waiting for the followup to this story:
    Fatal accident, huge tie-ups, dangerous construction area ... the commenters below the story filled in some details. Not sure this story ever made the print edition.

  2. It's interesting that this stuff is going on the same week that I'm noticing a significant reduction in updated news stories in the early morning when I do my Cooler. The Herald's news is not nearly as fresh and the opinion page/letter is not being updated in the morning like it used to be.


  3. Rick, you're right -- in recent days, the site has seemed as stale as two-week old bread. If a reader took the time to grab screen shots during the course of a day, it would confirm the utter lack of updating. Typically, visitors can expect a too-heavy dose of sports, the occasional breaking news story that never gets follow-up, and a story that looks local but in fact happened in Marion County several days ago. It's like one of those bot-generated papers, but not so relevant.

  4. The lack of updates might have something to do with the fact that they are switching to the new publishing system. I'll see if I can get an answer.

  5. I've been under the impression for some time now that their website is actually being managed in New Delhi or on some other distant shore.

    Indeed, I have kidded them about it once in a while, referring to them as The Delhiami Herald or cautioning to "Watch out for drunken elephants."



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