Miami Herald ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos asked readers “what content the paper should emphasize in an era of staff cuts.”
Yesterday the Herald published selected responses.
Some of my favorites:
The Miami Herald has almost no local content. The paper gets my highest marks for its recent excellent coverage of housing, public transportation and other major issues. I continue to subscribe because of The Herald’s investigative journalism. But there has been almost no coverage of Hallandale where I live and work, nor of many other cities in South Florida.
I realize that my website, Business Buzz, is all about covering an old-fashioned beat — in this case, chambers of commerce meetings. But I actually get out of the office and go to meetings, and talk to a lot of people. The Herald should be covering these meetings — they are your advertisers and potential advertisers.
I’d love to see the company save all the fluff, like that awful People Page or the 5-Minute Herald, for its online version. Just give us the news.
In a community as diverse as the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area, there are many ethnic groups, but The Herald continues to be too Cuba-centric. If you want to develop a future readership, then start appealing more to the other groups. These include Jamaicans, Haitians, Central Americans, Colombians, Venezuelans, other South Americans and the white middle class that continues to move into the area.
These are things I’ve been hearing about the Herald since before I cared about journalism or the news.
One of the good things is that a lot of the responses mentioned in-depth investigative stories. These can be the hardest to do under budget and staff cuts, but they are also the best stories.
I should also note that only 2 or 3 of the published responses mentioned the Web site. What does that mean? Maybe nothing. Maybe the sample is bad. Maybe I should go find Mr. Schumacher-Matos and ask to dig through all ~175 responses.