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voyager12

The Observer

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I never purchase the print edition but from reading it online I believe they do a serviceable job on local stories. The preponderance of celebrity "news" on their homepage annoys me to no end though. Like most mid-size dailies they are struggling to provide reliable and useful content while still making money on the advertising side. They are a favorite target of bashing for being a "liberal rag". Perhaps it's because I come from a liberal viewpoint myself but I don't seem them as being all that progressive. Editorially, they are left of center but only to a moderate degree in my opinion and I think they could take stronger activist stands earlier. I also don't sense the liberal bleed into straight news stories that so many conservative letters to the editor complain about. Do any long time Charlotteans prefer how the paper appeared in years past? It's probably too early to notice a difference since the O moved from being a Ridder to a McClatchy paper. Although I heard that most reporters were happier because McClatchy does not have the "slash and burn"

reputation of Knight-Ridder.

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I recently canceled my print subscription when they decided that placing advertizing stickers right on the front page was a good idea. This after, in my estimation, 60-70% of the bulk of the paper is devoted to ads. But aside from that, I have grown dissatisfied with the level of the journalism in the Observer noting that it is just marginally better than the televised media. They have become more of a tabloid than a source of good news.

I get much more relevant information from the Internet, some satellite news outlets, and the local Huntersville paper which IS well written and puts a priority on local community news over things like Paris Hilton being sent to jail.

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Does anyone know what percentage of "news" in the observer is taken directly from wire services, such as the Associated Press? Are these merely cut-and-paste stories or is there some re-writing involved?

The Business and Sports sections are definitely slanted towards a regional perspective, which makes sense.

I agree about the amount of ad space, but it doesn't seem to bother me, I guess.

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Reading the Observer is one of the first things I do every morning. I think it is a good starting place for local news, but you can't beat going to the primary source yourself.

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I read the Observer religiously, not because I think they are necessarily the 'best' source of journalizm, but my job requires that I keep up with as much going on in town as possible, so I can't leave many sources out and they are a big one. I do find a lot of what they do annoying, but i've found that skipping one day can make me miss things that I won't end up seeing or hearing in other places.

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Charlotte is in quite a real estate boom especially around Uptown and I do think the Observer's coverage of projects is informative on a cosmetic boosterish level but I have a hard time calling it "reporting". Doug Smith's "Next Big Thing" irks me to no end. Every new condo project is "The Next Big Thing" :blink: ? I am sure he takes his job seriously and is professional but he writes press releases and not articles. I swear these developers must just rip out a page of their brochure and fax it to him and he puts it right into the paper. There is not one ounce of critical analysis or probing questions and that is what I thought "reporting" was supposed to be.

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^Developers buy a huge amount of advertising in the paper. My guess is they are not exactly impartial because of it an why there is a dearth of any articles that talk about bad development. The recent run on Belzer is an exception but a very rare one.

At least two different restaurant owners have told me the Observer won't do a write up on them in the food section unless they advertise. Don't know if this is actually true or not.

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At least two different restaurant owners have told me the Observer won't do a write up on them in the food section unless they advertise. Don't know if this is actually true or not.

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A recent article in Charlotte Magazine dispells much of the personal opinions expressed here so far. The Observer is a respectable paper with a good reputation amoung publications. They are praised for their covereage of the BeAzer Homes Foreclosures as well as the Google deal and other instances of investigative reporting.

I really don't think Doug Smith's articles are meant to be hard hitting journalism. I guess to understand why the paper takes a boosterism approach would be to understand Charlotte over the past 50 years and not just the past 5 (and I'm sure that will be rebutted by how some have lived here for 20 years now). Charlotte is a boosterish town...and the Observer serves that personality to some degree. That would be the local paper understanding the local market and the concerns of long-time residents.

They also make a concerted effort to address the new culture of Charlotte by providing resources to new-comers.

I guess it seems strange to me that self-admitted non-subscribers really have an opinion on this topic. There is certainly room for differing opinions...I just don't see why it would matter to someone who says they don't even read the paper. I'd def. be interested to hear what other READERS have to say, good or bad.

http://www.charlottemagazine.com/features/story.cfm?ID=1340

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Well, I don't subscribe but read it online every morning for local updates. They do a good job covering the news with the tight leash they have between news and ad space. I agree about Charlotte being boosterish and I wish it could be reined in a tad but it's in the DNA it seems. I don't agree with the Rhino's political bent but I have to say I admire the detail in their stories. And on the other side of the spectrum Creative Loafing sometimes outpaces our "big city paper" on stories of import. There is always room for improvement.

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A recent article in Charlotte Magazine dispells much of the personal opinions expressed here so far. ......

.... I guess it seems strange to me that self-admitted non-subscribers really have an opinion on this topic.

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You would think the spelling of a heading could be spelled correctly, especially considering it is the name of our city...

post-1-1179431499_thumb.jpg

post-1-1179431499_thumb.jpg

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You would think the spelling of a heading could be spelled correctly, especially considering it is the name of our city...

post-1-1179431499_thumb.jpg

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Someone must have pointed it out to them cause the headline is now corrected. UP strikes again. :ph34r:

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Someone must have pointed it out to them cause the headline is now corrected. UP strikes again. :ph34r:

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I think the Observer is a good source of news, but not a good source for journalism. If something happens around town, they're usually on top of it and can tell you what you need to know. But the level of writing is never top-quality, and often slips below par. It's a mystery to me how certain columnists there can hold onto their jobs. But hey, every city probably has similar complaints about their local paper. I read the NY Times and it makes the O look pretty bad, but I'm sure if you compared it to another similar-sized city paper you'd get about the same results.

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^ thats my sole reasoning for reading local newspapers. I want to know whats happening in that place. I always buy or read a local newspaper when I'm somewhere else, and I always watch the local news too. If I want the big story on what's goign on outside of that locale, then I have my national and international media outlets that do the job.

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Their website can be strange. Several times, I have noticed something in the headline on page 1 while the paper is in someone's hands... so, curious enough about it, I decide to read that article online. And than have to use search to locate it! It seems like the online version stuffs "leading" stories into odd subcategories.

The online classifieds can be frustrating to use. You have to pay close attention to find the truly local ads, and not be steered into Apartments.com or Cars.com or AllenTate or whoever they are partnering with.

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I've had better luck with craigslist than with observer adverts.

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