Tuesday, March 02, 2004

How not to motivate workers

Read this memo from the Cincinnati Enquirer's special projects editor blasting today's A and B sections.

Here's a tease (emphasis mine, ellipses hers):
** Where are the photos? Everybody wants to see that 84-year-old Leap Lady on the bottom of B1. Everybody wants to see the Museum Guy who's answering Five Questions on B2. Everybody wants to see the new Country Day chief, especially since we put a big old 54-point head on that story, also on 2B....... To continue the trend of annoying readers, we have a nice family photo with the bike trail story on 3B -- but who cares? What you wanna see with that story is a MAP of the bike trail...... And how in the world did we manage to put Cliff Peale's picture with John Eckberg's name in the "Daily Grind" column on Business? Is anybody seeing page proofs at night??
I'm all for straight shooters in the newsroom. Managers can get so lost in compliments that you run out of time to make the paper better. But this memo is at the other end of the spectrum.

To make matters worse, her points are probably all valid. But when they're couched in such comments as "Is anybody seeing page proofs at night??" they do little good.

I'm hoping for some reaction on Romenesko's letters page.


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