Sunday, March 12, 2006

This was a demanding week at work, hence the lack of blogging. I am one reporter down thanks to budget cuts and two members of the news staff were in the Mojave Desert doing a story about how Massachusetts Marines train for duty in Iraq.

I feel comfortable in making public that BearManor Media will be publishing my first book on animation history in 2007. The tentative title is "Going Mainstream: How Animation Escaped the Kiddie Ghetto." The book is a collection of the pieces I've written on animation for both Animato and Animation Planet – magazines I published and edited – and articles from other places as well.

Each piece has been updated and arranged to tell how animation was able to find its way out of the horrors that were the 1970s and '80s and into greater acceptance.

I would have loved to have included some of the articles written by other contributors, but there was no budget for buying second publication rights.

The book is scheduled to be printed next year.

I have one new project, which I will announce then the deal is set, and I will be tackling my Max Fleischer book once more. Hopefully, since Richard Fleischer's memoir of his father was so limited in scope, there will be interest in something more in depth.

observations of a small town editor, continued....

To paraphrase the Bard, "the story's the thing." There's no purpose in publishing a story unless it's correct, attractive or useful to the reader.

That's why I hate doing puff pieces on businesses, because I doubt anyone cares.

Reviews are just as bad. Everyone wants to be a critic, just like everyone wants to be a columnist. Too many newspapers fall to the siren's song of running reviews because some editor thinks that readers want them.

Readers only want reviews if they are of purpose to them. Here's a case in point: The Republican, our daily in Springfield, ran a review of the Motley Crue concert that took place recently.

The concert was on a Tuesday – a one-night stand – and the review ran on Friday. What was the point? Isn't a review designed to give consumers some educated guidance about something? Isn't it "news you can use?" What is the use of this kind of review?

Well, it filled space and allowed the paper to run a photo that resembled soft-core porn.

Reviewing traveling shows that give a single performance and move on doesn't do the readers a bit of good, but many papers publish these pieces. Perhaps they aspire to be "newspapers of record." Perhaps they want to seem hip and cool. They want to capture that younger demographic.


They just want to eat up space with something locally written that didn't cost very much to produce.

Anything one publishes has to serve the needs of readers, rather than the needs of the newspaper's budget. Otherwise, sooner or later, you won't have any readers.

To be continued...

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