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items tagged with Quad City Times

The Forest for the Trees: Lessons from Newspaper Coverage of the Benton Mackenzie Trial and Rock Island County Government
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Media

2014-08-07 11:40:41

The July 9 Rock Island Argus/Moline Dispatch article announcing a verdict for Benton Mackenzie on drug charges began like this: “Even as the 12 jurors shuffled into the courtroom to announce their verdict, Benton Mackenzie could already sense his fate. Guilty.”

As storytelling journalism quickly establishing a mood and then getting to the point, it’s pretty good.

Yet with the basic facts of the case never in dispute, the verdict had long been almost a foregone conclusion because of a pre-trial ruling in May – which the Illinois-based newspapers mentioned in trial coverage but didn’t actually cover. Judge Henry Latham ruled that Mackenzie couldn’t claim he grew marijuana out of medical necessity to treat his cancer.

The Quad-City Times, on the other hand, did cover that ruling, and did a decent job explaining the precedent behind it.

But the Benton Mackenzie coverage from both entities, while voluminous, overlooked or ignored frameworks in which daily events could be understood, processed, and put into a more-meaningful context. The story is ultimately not just about one man with terminal cancer facing a criminal trial. Nor does it merely illuminate the general issue of medical marijuana.

Rather, it’s a heart-wrenching, complicated example of something larger: how the justice system deals with an area of rapidly changing law – one that is itself chasing a swift change in public attitudes following decades of calcified prohibition policy.


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Bigger, But Better? The Quad-City Times Dwarfs the Argus/Dispatch’s News Coverage
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Media

2009-12-10 14:00:48

On December 1, the Quad-City Times ran 29 square inches of copy on the not-for-profit organization Skills Inc. shutting down at the end of the year. The Rock Island Argus ran an eight-square-inch brief on its front page.

This can be seen as a microcosm of the Quad Cities' two daily newspapers. A River Cities' Reader analysis found that last week, the Quad-City Times devoted 80 percent more space to local news content than the twin Illinois papers, the Rock Island Argus and the Moline Dispatch.

For the week of November 29 to December 5, the Times had 91 articles, editorials, and columns written by staff members or Lee Enterprises bureau reporters concerning local and state issues and news, totaling 2,300 square inches. The Argus/Dispatch had 69 such articles, totaling 1,274 square inches.

Including letters to the editor, the Times had more local news content each day last week than the Argus or Dispatch. Outside of Saturday's paper -- in which the amount of local news content was nearly the same -- each day the Times devoted at least 23 percent more space to local news content than the Argus/Dispatch did. On Monday, the Quad-City Times featured 307 square inches of local news content; the Argus/Dispatch had 30 -- all letters to the editor.


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RIP, the Daily Paper: As Headlines Document the Death of Print Media, How Will Quad Cities Newspapers Survive?
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Media

2009-03-18 12:00:00

Denver's Rocky Mountain News closed in February. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published its last print edition on Tuesday, and the threat of closure has been levied against the San Francisco Chronicle - which lost more than $1 million a week last year.

Earlier this month, Time magazine identified the "10 major newspapers that will either fold or go digital next."

And the Associated Press summarized in a March 15 article: "Four newspaper companies, including the owners of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune and The Philadelphia Inquirer, have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in recent months."


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Times’ Smear Job Is Shameful
Written By: Kathleen McCarthy
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Editorials

2009-03-04 16:43:58

The Quad-City Times' management, most especially the disgraced editors, get to evaluate whether their decision to smear local appraiser Mark Nelson was worth what it has cost them -- the last vestige of credibility they had in the community as reliable news providers. In what it tried to pass as a news story in its print edition on Tuesday, March 3, the Times disparaged Nelson with myriad unsubstantiated claims about an alleged cover letter he sent with an appraisal that discouraged Royal Banks of Missouri from approving a loan to Amy and Amrit Gill of Restoration St. Louis for the redevelopment of the Blackhawk Hotel as a boutique hotel.


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Article Compromised Times' Credibility
Written By: Administrator
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Letters to the Editor

2009-03-04 14:30:30

Editor's note: This letter was submitted in response to the article "Blackhawk Hotel project threatened by critical report," by Tory Brecht.

An open letter to Quad-City Times readers and fellow Lee Enterprises shareholders.

Tory, I read your article with some degree of skepticism this morning. On March 10, Lee Enterprises, the owner of this newspaper, has their annual shareholder meeting; in the past year their stock has tumbled from almost $20 per share to 24 cents at the low. (38 cents as I write this.) I am not only a subscriber but a shareholder. Apparently the newspaper industry and now you have been oblivious to the traction radio commentator Rush Limbaugh has gotten with his "Drive-by Media" characterization. It is sticking no matter how you folks in the media protest. And it is sticking because you allow your personal opinions and the opinions of the editors to creep into your reporting. The only thing you folks have to offer is credibility, and unfortunately your piece in today's "noospaper," as Bill Wundrum frequently refers, does little to lend credibility to this newspaper or you as a reporter.


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