It is Sunday in Las Vegas and I can’t decide whether to write about the journalistic whoring at the Review-Journal or the futile grasping for print relevance by the folks who run the Sun. So I won’t decide and will write about both.
The Review-Journal today repeats the pimping for ads tabloid it first rolled out in 2013 and the results are embarrassingly similar for its Top Workplaces 2014. The paper tried to get more than 600 companies to cooperate in a survey of employees, but only 54 did. Out of those 54, the paper managed to declare 30 were top workplaces. The Review-Journal, again, was not one of them.
Purely by coincidence, a dozen of those “top” workplaces bought ads in the 20-page tabloid. I wrote about why this is an inexcusable erasure of the line between news and advertising in 2013. What I said then still stands.
I would link to this year’s tab but for some reason there is no online presence that I can find. Perhaps they couldn’t sell any ads for an online version.
Meanwhile over at Greenspun Media Group, which continues to put out the ad-free Las Vegas Sun as a section inside the Review-Journal, The Sunday has hit the racks — a 68-page, slick-cover tabloid, chock full of full-page ads and frothy “news” content to fill in around colorful, but meaningless graphics.
Apparently, editor and publisher Brain Greenspun has been stricken with a severe case of schizophrenia. While practically every story in this Sun section carries a disclaimer saying the story was posted online days ago, The Sunday’s website is nothing but a static single page with no links.
The Sunday’s masthead lists more than 80 staffers, possibly approaching the number remaining at the Review-Journal sans press and production crews.
If The Sunday is anything like the old Sun, before it was saved from extinction by a joint operating agreement with the Review-Journal, many of those ads are likely trade-outs with family members or were sold at a deep discount to give the product heft and the appearance of relevance.
How long the Sun, which three out of four Greenspun siblings have voted to shutter, or The Sunday will last is anyone’s guess.
As for journalistic ethics and relevance, those are but fond memories.