Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Press Timing and Spoonfeeding

I was going to refrain from commenting on Mike Lloyd's column in the Sunday Press. He whines that GVSU did not post news stemming from its July board meeting promptly--the tuition raise, the president's raise, the benefits for co-habitating faculty/staff. (As a former PR staff and current faculty member of GVSU, I thought I'd pass for conflict of interest reasons.)

But given a little item in yesterday's papers, I find there to be enough irony to merit a comment.

First, I do find it ironic that Lloyd complains that the university didn't post news quickly to its Web site. Reporters were alerted to and covered the meeting, and the university was very transparent with internal and external publics. In fact, had the posted on Friday some would have accused them of burying the news on the weekend in the summer. Also, if the university were as prompt as Lloyd suggests, his paper would have been scooped. That's the usual cry from him and his editorial crew--that PR pros don't coddle the Press so they don't get beat to the punch by TV. Indeed, should he not be pleased that the Press broke the stories? All in all, an odd subject to occupy an entire Sunday column.

But there was even greater irony yesterday following a construction accident on GVSU's Allendale campus. The Press ran the story and a photo, the latter of which was called a 'courtesy photo.' Had the Press been more forthcoming in its photo credit, as was the Grand Haven Tribune on the same story, readers would have known the photo came from the same GVSU News & Information Services office he criticized on Sunday.

Apparently Mr. Lloyd is transparent about sources when he wields a fork and knife, but not when he is being spoon fed.

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