Arizona Republic Officially Jumps the Shark in Coverage of Chandler Mall Shooting

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www.informationsecurityresources.com
Leave it to the Arizona Republic to take a fairly interesting story, take its coverage way too far, and, in turn, bore us to death.

A story about a violent fugitive shooting it out with police at a crowded mall before taking hostages at a nearby restaurant is always interesting. A story about how mall managers used Facebook to communicate during the ordeal is never interesting -- yet, that's the route the Arizona Republic has gone in trying to suck as much life out of the story of Wednesday's Chandler mall shooting as journalistically possible.

Granted, today is a relatively slow news day (no county supervisor's wife's been arrested for molesting the same child with whom her daughter is accused of messing around, that is) but a story about how mall managers communicated via-Facebook was the lead story on azcentral.com for much of the day (see below).

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Here's a taste:

During Wednesday's evacuation and lockdown of Chandler Fashion Center while a gunman was loose, mall managers communicated with its more than 300 retailers through the mall's Facebook page.

"For the first time, we took advantage of our Facebook site, and we were able to communicate to our merchants," said Christina Lanoue, the mall's senior property manager.

"It's a new tool in the industry, and it certainly did help us communicate to the merchants when they were able to come back in the mall."

It added efficiency as well, saving mall managers from being inundated with phone calls and relaying the same information repeatedly.

"When a merchant called, we told them any information they need, go to the website," she said. "We could quickly update it."

The story's not completely useless -- we would just argue that it's not lead-story material for the state's largest member of the fourth estate.

It seems the paper is trying to provide an excess of mundane details about the incident so readers will forget how badly its initial coverage of the shootout was blown (while every other news outlet in town was saying there was a good chance the suspect involved was accidentally released inmate Daniel Perez, the Republic was the only paper that claimed the suspect in the shootout had been confirmed to be Perez, which was false. The suspect turned out to be Adam Hernandez, not Perez.).

As Chandler Detective David Ramer told New Times at the time, he had no idea where the Republic got that information.

Click here for more on that (ahem) little mixup.

We promise our loyal readers that you will never find some bromidic anecdote from an otherwise interesting story as the lead article on the New Times website.

Meanwhile, we hear the Orange Julius guy at Chandler Fashion Center used his iPhone to program his Tivo so he could record an episode of Jersey Shore as the mall was being locked down (Randy Lovely, if you're reading this, this may be your chance to finally yell "stop the presses").


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18 comments
Guest
Guest

To all you trashing the Repulsive. When was the last time you actually PAID for the daily paper? Are you subscribing to it? When was the last time you actually read a FULL article in New Times?

On the other hand, how often do you text message? Do you have a Facebook page; a Twitter account? Do you have a mobile phone that uses apps, has texting & Internet access?

So, it seems like this blog post is a way to say newspapers are still relevant. Advertise in New Times, when newspapers are as relevant as a typewriter, a black and white TV or other useless nonsense.

Coz
Coz

The Arizona Republic is a joke and has been for many years now.

The only thing funnier over there is the Editorials that are written by an editorial staff that clearly have their heads up their asses.

Joel Z Williams
Joel Z Williams

I know, right? I was totally thinking that as I flipped through CBS, NBC, ABC local news. I am new to Phoenix so I can only imagine what the news must have been like when those helicopters collided over Indian School Park.

Nick
Nick

Yeah, it would be way more interesting if they just wrote 15 articles each month about how much they hate Joe Arpaio. Pot, meet Kettle.

AZSS
AZSS

Well, KJZZ - the local NPR affiliate - ran an hourlong discussion on federal farm subsidies that day. Does that give you a taste?

James King
James King

Fifteen? Give us some credit -- it's more like 20.

Coz
Coz

Absolutely, have the Arizona Republic been more honest in it's reporting we could have dumped Bozo Joe Arpaio long before he cost the tax payers 44 million and rising in tax payers money.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Yeah, it would be way more interesting if they actually reported news and investigated corrupt officials the way the NewTimes does. The Republic, once the home of ace investigative reporter Don Bolles, is now more like a big ad wrapper with some wire copy and press releases handed out by the local right-wing GOP pols. Even Duke Tully was entertaining.

Coz
Coz

The Arizona Repulsive will never be an honest news source.

Nick
Nick

So the Lefties are crying about it being Right-Wing and the Righties are saying it is too liberal. If you think the New Times is an un-biased "investigative" news source, you are insane.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

I'm not insane - and I read through other posts carefully before I respond to them. The NewTimes is an investigative news source, whether the editorial staff votes Republican, Democratic or Bull Moose. The Republic (which started as the Republican many decades ago) has forgotten that it also used to look under the rocks for corruption in Maricopa County. I remember the Don Bolles investigations that used to infuriate the Valley fat cats and their crooked flunkies. I also remember how investigative reporters from all over the country descended on this state like odor on excrement after John Harvey Adamson murdered Bolles at the behest of those fat cats.

I detest abuse of power, sleaze and corruption by any public official, regardless of political affiliation. But, you may have noticed that the far right now controls much of the government in this state and within your valley. The NewTimes, to its credit, has gone after Democrats as well as Republicans. But you may have failed to notice that.

Has the NewTimes been successfully sued for libel? No. Have any of the NewTimes editorial staff been successfully sued in court for defaming the characters of the authority figures they investigate? No. That's because they follow high standards in their published investigations. And they accept the risks that offending vindictive, unscrupulous people such as Arpaio and Thomas pose. Those risks include illegal arrests as have already occurred and assassination as has also already occurred.

If you are still an Arpaio supporter after all of the evidence of his abuse of authority, incompetence and corruption has been uncovered, then you are either a damn fool or one of his flying monkeys. Arpaio is a mean old man with a personality disorder (megalomania) He would simply be a cranky old geezer to be avoided if he were in retirement - but he has considerable power and is willing to wield it in dangerous and inappropriate ways.

The Republic no longer serves the purpose that a good newspaper serves - it turned its journalistic head away when bombasts, hate mongers, petty tyrants and demo-gouges like Arpaio, Hendershott, Thomas and Pearce started to make fools of themselves and a farce out of governance.

Whether you like the NewTimes or not, it serves an extremely important role in this state, a role that has been abrogated by the rest of the media. But perhaps you are content with the mismanagement, incompetence, corruption, misuse of authority, hate-mongering, demagoguery and prevarication that has characterized the political establishment in Maricopa County and the Arizona state government, I would suggest you continue to read the Republic. It does, after all, have very good store coupons...

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