Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Editor & Publisher on Herald's troubles

Two items in Editor & Publisher:

A letter from El Nuevo Herald columnist Soren Triff in response to a recent E&P piece.

An article in which it is reported that "Clark Hoyt, former chief of Knight Ridder’s Washington D.C. bureau, has been hired by The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald to help the newsrooms find common ground when covering the community."

In a recent email I sent to David Landsberg, who has taken over as publisher for papers, where I congratulated him on his promotion and offered to open the lines of communication, I suggested a similar approach:

I will leave you with some advice from someone who admittedly does not work or has never worked in the newspaper business. It seems to me that there is a rift between the two papers or at the very least between ENH and the parent company. I should think that repairing that rift would go a long way towards getting the papers moving in the right direction. I understand the desire to keep the newspapers independent of each other but I think there should be some sort of liaison between the two. I have too often seen a good article in the Spanish newspaper that would go a long way toward helping non-Spanish speaking readers understand what all the fuss is about (particularly regarding Cuba).
Mr. Landsberg has, to date, not replied to my email.


heraldphobe said...

The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald are different papers with different editorial leadership and different staffs, although they belong to the same parent company (McClatchy). Unfortunately, there seems to be an "us vs. them" mentality at work between them, especially lately, which is fueled by lack of understanding and quite possibly uglier things.

I don't have statistical data on who reads each (or both) papers, but I expect a lot of the customers of either paper are bilingual and are thus tuned into what is published in both. Yes, English-only people will only bother with the MH and Spanish-only people will only read ENH, but the MH's customer base includes a lot of Cuban-Americans (far more than the non-Hispanic customers for ENH).

That means the Miami Herald should not operate as if Cuban-Americans are not that relevant to its business, or so it would seem. However, all too frequently that's exactly how the MH operates. There's obviously a need to address this situation, and maybe Hoyt can help some, but he would definitely have to be very familiar with and sensitive to the Cuban-American community. As far as I can tell, he may not even be a Miami guy, as he was previously based in DC, and he's not Hispanic, so I doubt he's going to be terribly effective.

The Universal Spectator said...

Don't hold your breath.