Sunday, June 19, 2005

Was this Metro Pulse cover story responsible journalism?

Being young is very difficult today. Social pressures and the need to fit in put a lot of pressure on young people. It doesn’t help when a local newspaper publishes an article about drunken driving being harmless. Knox County has had at least four DUI fatalities in the past five months. One of these tragic deaths was in Farragut.

Metro Pulse has been a good newspaper for many years but recently has made a decision to adjust their format. According to Publisher Brian Conley, “We're making a bit of an effort to appeal to a younger audience, which is something we felt Metro Pulse needed. Still, the front of the paper is populated by Joe Sullivan, Frank Cagle, Jack Neely, Barry Henderson and Matt Edens, quite a heady - and experienced - group.”

In the cover story of this week’s Metro Pulse Molly Kincaid and Ellen Mallernee feature the article “Pressing Against the Glass, Two Knoxville party girls peer into Nashville’s nightlife”. Excerpts from the article include, “On the way to Nashville, the sky’s filled with gorgeous, cotton-candy clouds in Rorschach shapes. We stop only once, at a gas station in Cookeville, where we make what will be the most important discovery of the trip: a sleeve of coconut scented rolling papers. We’ll need them later.” Most parents will not find the humor in that but it gets worse. “By this time, we’d employed former Metro Pulse intern, Kevin, as our chauffeur. What are interns for anyway? Turns out, Kevin takes the term “designated driver” relatively lightly, but we’re in no position to be picky.” Unfortunately there is more, "We make like a Snoop video and perch on the arms of one of those big rapper-style armchairs, offering Kevin the throne. He feels like a pimp. Until I fall off the chair, alighting right square on my tail. I save my drink, if very little face.Our chances of fitting in at the Bound’ry go from slim to zilch thanks to my careening off the chair, and we make for the exit after gulping the dregs of our drinks."

Was this cover story responsible journalism? Is the new concept at Metro Pulse to glorify public intoxication, getting high, and drinking and driving? There has to be other and better ways to reach the younger audience. Metro Pulse started as a publication promoting local music events. Over many years it became Knoxville’s second newspaper and was well respected. There is another furor over this article concerning the Publisher of the Metro Pulse that you can read in Michael Silence’s blog or over at SKB’s blog.

If you have a teenage driver in your family take some time to talk with them about ways they can handle social situations where other friends are not using common sense. The advertising geared to the 18 to 35 year market says buy a case of Bud Light, drive this really cool SUV, and invite your friends out to party. Even though your teenager may abstain or act responsibly it is a team effort. It only takes one person to cause an accident. Explain to your teenager how they can be a good friend. Sometimes it only takes one person with common sense to defuse a situation about to go bad.

Comments:
I could not believe my eyes Friday when I read Metropulse. Where were the editors?
 
Nice blog, Nice post on the Pulse's cover story, nice comment on the sentinel site. Rock on
 
If Metropulse is going to encourage that kind of writing I have no use for the paper or anyone that advertises with it. Why put trash like that on the cover.
 
I will not read MP or do business with any business that is in that rag. Blackmail and threats are over the top. Why did you not tell the whole story?
 
Why did you not tell the whole story?

The links are in the post. Thats not what this blog is about.
 
the article was awful. having high school aged kids that are just driving I don't understand why it was printed. I tried to call teh paper but everyone was out. it will not be in my home.
 
Thank you for standing up for us.
 
This si the only discussion of the Metropulse article that started the big blowup. You hit the nail on the head. It was irresonsible of Metropulse to print that article.
 
Good for you. Raising kids is hard enough without interferrence from the Metropulse. It was an insult to Knoxville.
 
Just cancelled our families mailed subscription to MetroPulse. Thanks for telling what happened.

Maureen
 
What do you expect? Have you seen the back of Metro Pulse. Gay singles ads and escort services. Trash.
 
PLEASE don't refer to that cover story as "journalism." It reads like something scrawled in a high school yearbook. Over at skb's blog, Brian Conley said he was trying to help the "party girls" by publishing that nonsense--he even refers to them as "fledgling reporters."

That article is a disgace. Tell MP's advertisers to look elsewhere.
 
smoking pot and drinking and driving? shame on the writers, editors, and especially the mean spirited publisher that tried to blackmail South Knox Bubba.

Debbie
 
Great blog. Unlike anything I have read. I agree the discussion should be about the Metropulse article and how it glorifies drunk driving as harmless. That is the more important debate.

Harold Klein
 
Metropulse must be desperate. It has been the same for years.
 
I am stunned at the last link in your post. Does it change every day?

Dottie
 
I am stunned at the last link in your post. Does it change every day?

Yes Dottie, sadly it does change every day.
 
I've heard the Metro Pulse "defense" is that critics are lacking in humor. But I challenge anyone to drive down Northshore, look at the crosses and other memorials, and get a kick out of such a tacky article.

I'll not read it again (heavens, I'll miss Jack Neely), and for sure I won't buy from their advertisers. This is a disgrace, and Conley should be totally ashamed of himself for pandering this way. It's irresponsible.
 
I've heard the Metro Pulse "defense" is that critics are lacking in humor.

3 teenagers have died in Farragut in 8 months. One from being a passenger riding with a drunk driver.

That article was an insult. The new Metro Pulse is out today and there was no apology. I will miss Jack Neely also.
 
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