Sunday, November 22, 2009


Nah, not more tangos, but a Vicad complaint. There is a newspaper routine called localizing a story. If a wire story or press release comes in that has local interest, a reporter will make some calls and insert the results into the info furnished from outside. I may have missed it, but I didn't notice much in the paper about the Texas Supreme Court rehearing a case of some local interest. From an Associated Press story featured on Yahoo Finance:
The fight began in the late 1980s after the well-known O'Connor family of South Texas and Exxon failed to renegotiate royalty rates for decreasingly productive wells. After Exxon plugged the wells and left, Emerald tried to re-enter several in 1994. Smaller drilling companies routinely reopen plugged wells after signing new leases with the landowners.
But in Emerald's case, the company says, efforts to re-enter more than 30 wells were blocked by numerous obstructions. Among them were a tool known used to break up well casings that still was loaded with explosives, upside down drill bits and steel debris, according to lawyers and court records.

Read it all here. I believe the only thing in the local paper was a similar wire story without any local embellishments. I emphasize the possibility that they covered it and I overlooked it, but I don't think so. My wife came in from a flying trip to Austin carrying an American-Statesman with the story, asking what there had been for coverage locally. Seems to me that this is a story with enough Victoria interest to merit a couple phone calls by someone in the newsroom, and maybe a story of sufficient local interest to rate the front page. Texas Monthly gave it ink in the November issue, with the High Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor quoted.


Edith Ann said...

I'll make a wild guess here. Could it be that no one down at the Advocate has a clue?

The three people employed there that have a clue as to who's who re: the local folks are not the ones assigned to watch the wire stories. So, the staff, many of them still unpacking the moving boxes shipped in from out of state, are left with the task.

Plus, I am certain the employees do not read the Victoria Advocate. If they did, I think we'd see less mistakes. Maybe not.

Yeah, this story has been covered several places, including a couple of the news channels. So, maybe if it couldn't be breaking news, they didn't care to cover it?

not securely anchored said...

Talk about your need for investigative reporting -- the Tx Supreme Court reversed itself by allowing a rehearing. It had thrown out the O'Connor case against Exxon; now it's going to rehear the case. That in itself sounds pretty interesting.

Pilot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pilot said...

I see a potential "hands off" status possibly being unofficially in place. I may be wrong, but when you are on thin ice already, and you have to rig or twist a survey to publicly prop up your perceived credibility, the last two folks in the world you want to piss off with a bumbled story embellished by cub reporters, is one of the world's oil giants, or a family that owns half the county, and kinfolk wearing the tin star of the county's top cop.
Then again, since they don't deliver an Austin or S.A. paper to Victoria anymore, it could be that desk jockey reporters myspacing at work rather than scouring the wire for news, just overlooked it.....

Edith Ann said...

Pilot-- you need to give that credibility issue a rest already! Here is the official word on that matter, as taken from an email from Chris Cobler: "On one point of your note, however, I must disagree. The Advocate is not suffering from a credibility problem, as you assert. In fact, our survey showed our readers put a great deal of trust in their hometown newspaper. One of the reasons they do is because we are accountable to our readers, as this example shows, and ready to correct any errors that inevitably occur in the course of producing any daily newspaper." To which I replied: "Re: the credibility issue--it was the paper that first suggested that there was an issue. Continuing missteps such as this, perpetuate that notion for those of us who do believe there is a credibility issue." They just don't get it.

In other words, you didn't expect them to be perfect ALL of the time, did you? (And I agree with every word you wrote.)

not securely anchored said...

Re: Vicad credibility
Yesterday morning Citizen blogged a rumor about Victoria Mall closing. Citizen predicted the economic downturn would leave Victoria looking like Carrizo Springs. By the time I'd recommended the blog to the Loon it had been wiped. So I tried to get on the live budget meeting to inquire but couldn't do that either. I realize a mall closing is the last story you want to see before Black Friday, but I sure hope they've got a reporter on it.

not securely anchored said...

The only trace left on the Advocate Web Site:

Blog: Citizen
Victoria Mall Closing

Published: Monday, November 23, 2009