And The Lecture For Today ...

Earl Maucker's Sunday column in the Sun-Sentinel begins with a letter from an angry British reader over the lack of international news in the Sentinel. Here's Maucker's answer:

In the past couple of months, some readers have expressed concern that we've reduced the amount of national and world news, especially on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Not so.

The ratio of advertising to news has increased because we've been running promotions — particularly early in the week — that allow moreadvertisers to run full-page advertisements.That has actually increased the size of the sections, which allows us to accommodate more news.

No, Earl. First that proves nothing and second, why didn't you tell your readers the truth -- that you killed the national/foreign desk last month?

Maucker's not new to this kind of Texas two-step. And the column also includes a beautiful example of another Maucker habit -- talking down to readers as if they sitting in rigid plastic desks in a grade school classroom. Listen to this.

The front page is primarily local news, the rest of the "A" section is devoted to national and world.

More local news is featured in the "B" section, with Sports following in the "C" section and Business in the "D" section. All of these are run "live," meaning they are produced the night before publication.

The Sundaypaper also includes advance sections produced prior to publication, including Lifestyle and features sections such as Travel, the TV book, plusCommunity News and Outlook.

But let's get back to the issue of world news for a moment and the question raised by Wendy in her e-mail.

The reality is the news business has changed dramatically. Readers and viewers have an ever-expanding range of choices , never imagined just a few years ago.

Cable TV, the Internet, dozens of special-interest publications, plus morning and afternoon network and local news in addition to the traditional evening broadcasts.

All right, where did that spitball come from? And quit squirming in your desks. This is IMPORTANT. Who would have thought that television and the Internet might affect newspapers? It's brilliant.

highlighting the executive editor's habit of writing down to his readers like they are sitting in rigid little desks in a grade school classroom. Here's an example:

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