Thursday, July 24, 2014

Print Media "Payback" GCSD

GCSD "Pays For" Dropping Local Press 
As "Official" District Newspapers

I saw this coming, a very predictable response to a still curious "business decision" (or was it??)  that carried a nasty financial sting to two struggling newspapers. The Greece School District dropped both the Greece Post and the Democrat & Chronicle as their "official" newspapers a number of weeks ago. That means thousands of dollars in lost business for both papers who can no longer count on the annual income provided by publishing legally required notices for school district budget votes, elections and other such business. And now, the backlash is felt. The signs are quite prominent in both media.

First, it was the D&C's turn to reveal that the carefully orchestrated ballet between the district and the media had been interrupted. I thought it a bit odd that it took them ELEVEN DAYS (purposeful foot-dragging??) to get out the story about Kirk Rd. School becoming another Rochester City Charter School. Even more strange was the fact that the reporter was left to admitting she'd been left out in the cold over the specifics of the deal: "Details of any pending lease agreements were not provided by the Greece Central School District. Minutes and agendas of Board of Education meetings posted online do not reflect any specifics of the arrangements with Renaissance." 

When I read that, I thought, "Welcome to MY world!" and laughed. But I knew it was a sign that the relationship between the district and the D&C had changed. I'd never read any such admission in my many years of district-watching.

Then yesterday, the Greece Post published an even more bizarre item: an "editorial" composed by the school district's PR person that supported the school board's decision to thumb its nose at the Supt's recommendation to retain a longtime soccer coach! 

This unusual posting brings up a number of questions. Since when do District Office staffers write editorials on behalf of the district while on the clock??  Hint: They don't! 

Are we to assume the content was merely "opinion" or are we supposed to realize this is the district's collective "position" going forward? It appears to me that the Greece Post decided to be uncooperative in getting the "message" out, leaving the District to choose between using the "editorial" route ... or getting nothing published at all.

And then there's the misleading title: "Board of Education Reaches Out To Community" ... it doesn't reflect the message contained within! But then GCSD doesn't get to choose the title on an editorial, the Greece Post does!

I've seen tiffs like this play out years ago when a former Supt. "punished" one local TV station by making them cover a meeting from the sidewalk on Maiden Ln. instead of from inside Olympia HS where their colleagues were able to get the story up close and personal. In the end, it proves what most of us knew all along: there is an attitude of "I'll scratch your back, if you scratch mine" between the media and those they report about. In other words, "unbiased media" is an oxymoron, something we should frequently remind ourselves when reading or watching paid media coverage.



Anonymous said...

I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy but I noticed that the Post put a correction on their website about the letter to he editor.

SCATS said...

To 12:09AM ~~ LMAO!! Yeah, right! Some "mistake" they made when they didn't notice until an hour AFTER I post my BLOG! LOL

I guess that's when District Office was able to get through to them! LOL LOL LOL

SCATS said...

Oh and they had to EDIT their mistake, too!! LMAO!!!!

Anonymous said...

So lame and paranoid!

SCATS said...

To 2:45PM ~~ I agree 100%! Greece Central's paranoia seems to be growing every year! For public employees, "lame" = "meeting expectations" so NBD there ;)

SCATS said...

FYI SCATS readers... I just checked the Greece Post's website and guess what? It appears they NEVER POSTED LAUREL HEIDEN'S "media statement" on their website ... So then, WHY POST A "CORRECTION?" It will NEVER be seen by those who read the print version!

This is becoming even MORE amusing as time goes by!!

Gotta love it when GCSD's panties get twisted!!

Anonymous said...

If they posted a correction on their website it will most likely appear in next weeks paper addition as well, if they are still even around next week. The only articles and photos they seem publish anymore all say submitted. Do they have a staff employed?

SCATS said...

To 10:34PM ~~ By next week, the coaching story will already be THREE WEEKS OLD! Who will even recall what Heiden submitted?

It's obvious that nobody edits anything at the Greece Post these days. It's not much different at the D&C either.

Anonymous said...

Now I understand:

My attempt to have my property tax assessment lowered was rejeceted.

Now I get it. The D and C today (Friday) published data showing Greece has the highest paid public workers in the area.
Of particlual note was the pay of the Greece police. Their average annual pay is just under $98,000.
At least when I get pulled over for speeding I know I will be ticketed but a serious professional.

So why was my attempt to have my assessment reduced rejected?? DUH!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the District Administration deserves the dilemma in which they find themselves . This whole coach fiasco was not of their making. It was the BOE that fired this guy, Yet they are acting like they are complicit in the out come . By authoring that editorial, they screwed up plain and simple. They are back tracking on this coach as they originally recommended his retention. Now after being blind sided by Julia and 3 others, they are defending the boards actions, looking silly in the process.
Their actions fall under the category of " something's are better left unsaid". In other words, say nothing. Simply repost the job and if he applies rehire him as they had planned to do.
BDW should be furious with Julia, who I am told she personally dislikes, for trashing the part of her contract that gives her sole control of hiring assignment of district employees. What better why to convey that message to her and the board than to just rehire the coach and be done with it instead if incurring the wrath of the sports boosters that is sure to come.
The editorial in question just made it worse for the Superintendant come the August meeting She deserves the fallout that is about to happen as this is now a media event and she will be given no quarter especially by the D&C.

SCATS said...

To 4:27AM ~~ Did it also mention the MOST over-inflated home assessments?? People in Greece need to WAKE UP!! I've watched home sales/prices for years and over the last 2-3 years, we've gotten to the point that MANY don't bother trying to get anything close to their "real market" assessed value when they first list their home for sale! The assessments are NOT in-line with reality!!

To 6:41AM ~~ I can't wait to watch the "fun" begin! Yes, it IS well-deserved.