Newsworthy According to the Daily Planet

Bloggified by Jake on Thursday, May 11, 2006

In the comments about Superman throwing a tombstone-sized rock into an elephant's mouth, Chawunky suggested this headline:might be the result of it being a slow newsday at the Daily Planet. However, if we accept that, we have to assume almost every day was a slow newsday at the Planet. Instead, I just think this is evidence of the terrible news sense of Perry White.

Look at that typeface! Newspapers generally save that size font for monumental occassions like wars ending, presidents being assassinated, nuclear bombs being dropped for the first time in human history, Al Capone being sent to jail, or Harry Truman losing the 1948 election. Perry White, on the other hand, wants everyone on the streets to know when a trio of boys learns a valuable lesson about friendship and honesty.While most editors-in-chief reserve a dominating, above-the-fold headline for man walking on the moon, Perry will use it just to confirm that dinosaurs are, in fact, extinct.
But why stop above the fold? If a story warrants it, Perry White is not above dedicating the entire front page to a headline.Even when the headlines are reasonably sized, they can be questionable. Who uses "Pffffft" as a verb?I also am irked by the way the Planet uses its reporters as the focus of stories. As a former journalist, I can tell you one of the first things you learn before you even get to J-school is that as a reporter, your job is to report on what's happening, not to interject yourself into the story.This headline should be something like "Standish Arrested on Racketeering Charges." Oh, but you say Jimmy Olsen played an active role in the arrest and therefore deserves credit? Though a valid point, please understand Jimmy Olsen plays an active role in every story he covers.Jimmy doesn't know how to report a story unless it's in first person. The Daily Planet must read like Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane's diaries. Look at some of those headlines. "Without Superman's Help"? Two entire lines of 70 point font dedicated to "Jimmy Olsen, Cub Reporter"?

Perry White has no sense of what makes for good journalism. It appears the Planet puts out about a dozen or more editions every day, pretty much every time a new story rolls in the door, whether it's important or not. The reporting is self-centered, putting the reporters above the subjects, assuming the average person gives a rat's ass what Jimmy Olsen thought about a nuclear test.

Perry White taught Clark Kent everything he knows about journalism.

Which helps explain:

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