Friday, July 27, 2007

Some sources aren't reliable

COMMENTARY: One of my purposes with this blog is to relay articles that have been written about the free daily industry. But it's hard to recommend some news sources that repeatedly make mistakes.

Take Today it has posted an article about the free daily in Bluffton, S.C.

I was excited to read about it. Then, in the third paragraph, my reading was halted by a glaring error: The article said free dailies are popping up in places such as Bluffton and "Eureka, Ore."?

I know of one in Eureka, California — but Oregon? Wait a minute! There is no Eureka, Oregon. But here's a link to a August 13, 2006 San Francisco Chronicle story about a newspaper war Eureka, California between the free Eureka Reporter and the paid Times-Standard.

We all make mistakes. But this is the third big blooper I've seen in MediaLife when it comes to free dailies.

On June 20, 2006, MediaLife made the ludicrous claim that Metro International brought the concept of free dailies to the United States in 2000. More than a dozen free dailies were already in existence when Metro arrived in the U.S. Here's a link to the history.

On June 11, 2007, MediaLife reported that billionaire oilman Phil Anschutz was going to expand his Examiner chain into Los Angeles this fall. Nearly two months later, and there's been no such announcement from the Examiner. In fact, we have learned from our sources that the Examiner is not expanding into any market.

On one hand, I want to post links to the latest news about our industry. On the other, I don't want to spread incorrect information. I encourage MediaLife to check its facts more carefully in the future.

UPDATE (AUGUST 12) MediaLife has corrected its article on small town free dailies, changing the word Oregon to California in two instances.