Video of the Moment: Indy Star talks to drunks!

And a Gannett Blog reader says: “I have to wonder if this is what Gannett had in mind when they sent all those people to video training. If this is the future of journalism, Lord help us all.”

Got a video to, uh, recommend? Please post a link in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

21 Responses to “Video of the Moment: Indy Star talks to drunks!”

  1. Mr. Yesterday Says:

    Sometimes I wonder…between this lame effort and those who bitch and moan about having to work during what could be a breaking major international news story in the Gulf Coast if maybe, just maybe, that we within the business might be wholly responsible for the death of American journalism.

    If we don’t go above and beyond for ourselves, for professional pride, why should readers/viewers stick with us? This young lady in Indy is given the training, a camera and told to go out an find a story and she comes back with this? Somebody’s worried they might work long hours chronicling a major hurricane in an already ravaged area?

    Time to grow up, people.

  2. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Why would a storm be an excuse for Gannett to violate wage-and-hour laws? Don’t the shareholders have to go “above-and-beyond,” too?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Drunk people? Wonder if she told her “victims” she would be labeling them that way? If she didn’t,I think that’s just plain wrong.

  4. Mr. Yesterday Says:

    Could you provide me with anything official that says employees of the Hattiesburg paper will NOT be paid overtime or given comp time for their efforts? What I’ve read here says people MUST be at the paper if the storm hits. I have not seen anything that says people will NOT be compensated for their time and effort. If you have that information, please post it. Otherwise, you’re jumping to a conclusion that the paper will “violate wage-and-hour laws.”

    Now, you might be correct in the end, but until it happens you’re dealing with conjecture and without any attempt at an obtaining an official response or position.

    You think you could write a 1A story based on that?

  5. Jim Hopkins Says:

    @10:07 am: I believe you misread my comment. I did not say Hattiesburg employees won’t be paid OT. I simply posed a question: “Why would a storm be an excuse for Gannett to violate wage-and-hour laws?”

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Does the site have an actual editor?

    This one ranks right up there with the “sex” survey. Maybe the reporter could give us her own answers to that, complete with video. I’m sure that would draw a nice audience.

  7. Anonymous Says:


    I think that’s the answer to this entire video…

    I escaped Gannett, and I am convinced that newspapers should be not-for-profit after watching some of the decisions that are made at the big G.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    This storm has been coming for days. Why didn’t the Hattiesburg managers plan accordingly and work with the other Gannett papers to avoid duplication if the company is, in fact, operating in cost-cutting mode.

    Curious to know if other newsrooms made it a requirement that staff spend the night? I’m guessing the ones that didn’t do that probably had the most staff pumped up and willing to stay voluntarily.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    There you have it — newspapers think they can avoid annihilation by turning into the E! Network. “Wild on Indy!”
    Who needs someone with 10 years of experience covering the federal government when this is what you want to produce.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    This is a p.o.s. Where are the responsible managers? Or, I should say, who is the responsible manager? YOU’RE FIRED!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    The clip looks like a college journalism or drama class homecomming spoof. Is this sort of content what they want to sell to online advertisors? Did I miss April fools day?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I was working at one of the Gannett papers when Hurricane Ivan hit a few years ago. Several people stayed in the newsroom over night, some stayed at government HQ and others in shelters with residents and reported. As far as I know, everyone got paid and OT. And really it was an exciting time, everyone pitched in and worked together. We did a fantastic job, especially on our Web site and the community loved us for months after. Loved us. I’m proud I had a part in it. I don’t work there anymore and I hear morale throughout the building is low, I don’t know how how well they will do with this hurricane. It’s not the paper it used to be.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I agree. The “drunk” thing shows a total lack of common sense. Who approved that, why and is he/she still employed?

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Jesus Christ this is bad on so many levels. The technicals: out of focus and no light. Then there’s the “reporter” spitting out her gum. Then there’s the exploitation factor. And I’m sure that on some level everybody associated with this drivel is high fiving. “Yeah we showed them. This is f***ing great” Celebratory fist bumps follow. Glad I’m gone.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    One of the things they teach in video training is to watch your microphone levels. This one was off the charts. Such bad audio. Bad video, too. Oh yeah, and bad interviews.

  16. Scott Says:


    The title is wrong. The video is for “”, as she says in the video. I’ll grant you that “” is “Powered by The Indianapolis Star”, but this video is not on the “Indy Star”. And within the context of “”, there is a small amount of redemption.. albeit very small, and for all the wrong reasons.


  17. Jim Hopkins Says:

    @10:56 pm: Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the following is true? is just a brand name. Its revenues are reported as Indy Star revenues. Its employees are all employees of the Star.

  18. Neal Taflinger Says: is the entertainment arm of the Indianapolis Star. Some of the criticisms of this video are valid, others just make the critics seem like a bunch of bitter cranks. It’s not hard news, people, it’s an entertainment site. If you aren’t entertained, go elsewhere.

    Neal Taflinger //

  19. Anonymous Says:

    I love this blog — started by someone who is so obsessed about a company he left years ago. Jim, go live your life. Forget about the past. Your time here is done. Get over it. You have nothing new or noteworthy to say, and you are only attracting the comments of a bunch of frustrated, miserable cranks who love nothing more than to crap all over anyone who takes a risk to make something, ANYTHING, out of this scrap heap of the business.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Oh boo hoo you very tired “newspaper” people of old. I went to the site: Entertainment.

    You do all understand that the bulk of “Newspaper” readership, not Entertainment pubs, focuses on Sports, Obits, and “if it bleeds…” type stories, right? Hate to break this to us but maybe we overvalue our “reporting” on stories the majority of readers could care less about. I look at the Omniture click data daily on our major paper… we have over estimated the average reader.

    Diversify or die. Maybe Gannett is smarter than I thought.

  21. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Just to clarify: I kind of like the video. I know it’s not meant to be news — and that’s OK. One of the great things about newspapers, websites and blogs (!) is that they can have so much variety. And although the camerawork is a little rough, I think the reporter struck just the right tone. (I do wonder, however, about the libel issues around labeling people, drunk.)

    Finally, I posted the video at the suggestion of a reader, who provided the link. Otherwise, I probably would never have run across it.

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